California’s Department of Mental Health plans to cut 600 positions

The California Department of Mental Health plans to eliminate more than 600 positions next year as the department transitions to the new Department of State Hospitals. 

The proposed budget presented last week would cut a total of $193 million in fiscal year 2012-13 by eliminating 619 positions, redirecting existing staff to units based on patient needs, discontinuing some programs, and other measures.

More than a third of the cuts will come from increasing ICF (Intermediate Care Facility) staff to patient ratio from 1 to 25 to 1 to 35. This would eliminate 440 positions and save the department more than $68 million.

“We remain committed to providing appropriate treatment for patients in a safe environment and in a fiscally-responsible manner,” said Kathy Gaither, acting chief deputy director at the California Department of Mental Health.

Some proposed budget cuts for fiscal year 2012-13 include:

  • Revise ICF staff to patient ratio: $68.1 million (442 positions)
  • Streamline documentation for standards compliance, admission, and assessment: $14 million (4 positions)
  • Redirect existing staff to units & reduce overtime and temp staffing costs: $13.3 million (24 positions)
  • Switch to generic prescriptions: $13 million
  • Reduce staff for psychology, rehabilitation therapy, housekeeping, records management, medical services & others: $8.5 million (49 positions)
  • Discontinue adult education program: $3.6 million (46 positions)

For a complete list of the proposed cuts, click here to download the “Department of Mental Health State Hospital Savings Proposal.”


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