Alaska selects winning bids for privatization studies

Alaska’s sweeping Medicaid reform bill, signed into law last month by Gov. Bill Walker, included provisions that require the state to hire outside contractors to perform feasibility studies for privatizing some parts of the state’s health care system.

Specifically, the law mandates an analysis of the privatization of certain pharmacy services, juvenile facilities, and the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

So far the state has received two winning bids from firms that will perform feasibility analyses for the privatization of juvenile facilities and the state’s only public psychiatric hospital. A third bid for a feasibility study on the privatization of pharmacy services was found to not meet the minimum qualifications outlined in the request by the state for proposals.

Carter Goble Associates, LLC, (CGA) submitted the winning bid to examine the feasibility of privatizing the programs offered in the Department of Juvenile Justice’s short-term secure detention facilities for youthful offenders.

CGA’s winning proposal can be read here.

The analysis will seek to identify which approach — public or private — represents the best overall value for the state “in terms of balancing cost efficiency with optimizing program effectiveness.”

Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) submitted the winning bid to conduct a feasibility analysis for privatizing certain aspects of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, which the proposal notes “serves as the sole safety net for the entire state.”

PCG’s winning proposal can be read here.

From the report:

The Department has indicated that the primary objective of this proposal is to identify potential options that will provide the best value to the State of Alaska, considering both the costs and benefits to the State, including financial savings, improved service delivery, enhanced quality of patient care and patient outcomes, as well as community impact. The State is looking for a comprehensive review that offers privatization options that evaluate: the State’s legal obligations, cost benefit analysis, service delivery and quality of care considerations, capital asset considerations and a review of other states’ psychiatric hospital privatization efforts.

The state is also seeking a contractor to evaluate the feasibility of creating a unified health care authority to coordinate health care plans and consolidate purchasing effectiveness for employees and individuals whose health benefits are funded directly or indirectly by the state — the goal being to achieve the greatest possible savings through a coordinated approach.