TeamTech helps a state rethink resource allocation 

TeamTech helps a state rethink resource allocation 

The Challenge

Maximizing resources while improving services is the greatest challenge faced by state and local governments alike. Among the myriad of services provided by local government in Kansas, incarceration of juvenile and adult offenders is arguably one of the costliest.  Healthcare costs for prisoners, particularly costs of prescription drugs, have had a crippling effect on county budgets. Because the federal government requires county government to provide healthcare to inmates – counties have little choice but to absorb the growing costs.

The Solutions

TeamTech partnered with the Kansas Association of Counties (KAC) and the Kansas Governor’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Cabinet Team to identify and bring together decision makers from county government and state agencies to determine the best way to save money on medical care costs for incarcerated populations. TeamTech set up and led the process which included gathering the initial data on who was spending what on healthcare costs. Prescription drugs and hospital costs were the two largest contributors to cost and many counties also discovered that they had been spending way too much on prescription drugs.

TeamTech helped participants identify ways in which governmental entities, including county and state detention facilities can save money and improve efficiency.

As a result of the project, county officials soon discovered that they can save administrative costs in two ways:

  1. By contracting with companies that specialize in providing correctional healthcare to inmates, counties not only save money on prescription drugs but also on legal expenses and administrative costs. These private companies assist correctional agencies by providing correctional healthcare and carefully screening and managing billing for off-site health care services. Through these contracts, local physicians still provide medical care to inmates, but the local providers now must adhere to policies and procedures that work elsewhere to contain costs.
  2. By gathering and examining data on their prescription purchases, counties were able to either renegotiate with their current pharmaceutical drug companies for better prices – or take advantage of large volume pricing by combining purchases with other counties. In some cases, counties obtained better prices by contracting through the Department of Corrections for prescription drugs.  And in a few counties, local pharmacists adjusted their rates to match the lower rates that large pharmaceutical companies were offering.

The Payoff

  1. More efficient delivery of services: This program has resulted in significant savings to the tax payer. Greater cooperation between state and local government has tangible benefits: The Kansas Department of Corrections projects an annual savings of at least $1.4 million and Sedgwick County alone predicts an annual recurring savings of $1 million.
  2. Counties see value in working together: This successful effort has laid the groundwork for other local government collaborations and enables increased compliance with state and federal regulations. (Link here to The Kansas Collaborative)

“TeamTech brought the groups together, facilitated the conversation and steered the teams in a positive direction.  They had the tools necessary to take the information state-wide.”

“The key to our success was that we had the right people at the table and the data we needed to analyze our current situation and make necessary changes.  TeamTech didn’t just facilitate the meetings, they worked tirelessly to make sure that assignments were completed between meetings and prodded during meetings to get the best results.”

Elizabeth Gillespie
Director of the Shawnee County Department of Corrections

Click here to read more about the The Kansas Collaborative.