FINALLY CUTTING COSTS AT DOUGLAS CO. HEALTH

NTF Issue Paper: douglascounty133.doc. 8-14.

NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER:
FINALLY CUTTING COSTS AT THE DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH CENTER.

BACKGROUND. Douglas County board hired a consulting firm to analyze the county health center and suggest ideas for streamlining and lowering costs of provided services. The center loses over $1 million per month currently. NTF has prompted county commissioners for over a year to accept and utilize these suggestions, particularly privatization and downsizing. Finally, the board acted.

OUTSOURCING LAUNDRY SERVICES.
County commissioners voted to outsource laundry services for the health center, long-term care, mental health services, primary care, radiology, youth center, kitchen, and morgue. 10 union employees now earning $15 per hour would lose their jobs, but 4 would transfer to other full-time or part-time job slots at lesser pay. Private companies are competitive. The in-house laundry service costs $993,561 annually, Ameritex $763,694, and Cornhusker Service Industries $672,156. County laundry personnel costs equaled $491,132, Ameritex $198,705, and Cornhusker Service Industries $198,705. Operational costs for each of the 3 services totaled $54,185 yearly. The county cannot launder its bed pads and pays $100,000 annually to outsource this service. Laundry machinery lay broken, sometimes not repaired for a length of time, forcing the county to outsource some of the service to a private company. If not outsourcing, the county immediately must buy new machines for a 15-20 year life span. Machinery repair costs run $225,000 annually for the county; no like costs for the 2 private companies. Maintenance costs for the county equal $29,700 annually; no like costs for the companies. Outsourcing would end the county using millions of gallons of water per year. Nurses now spend 27 hours per week sorting laundry; privatizing would allow them to spend more time with patients. The emptied laundry space would provide needed square footage for other services. The following vote awarded a contract to Cornhusker Service Industries, which already provides satisfactory service to the county jail:
YES, with taxpayers: Borgeson, Duda, Kraft, Morgan, Rodgers, Tusa.
NO, against taxpayers: Boyle.

Previous post:

Next post: