County Performance Auditor Dings Health Care Agency

And in other Orange County government news…

The Orange County Register’s Norberto Santana and Tony Saavedra report that the County Performance Auditor has weighed in on the administration of health care for county jail inmates. It ain’t pretty.

Problems within the Correctional Medical Services program have festered for numerous years despite heated complaints from nurses and union officials.

Those complaints garnered headlines two years ago when the Orange County Register published an investigation into an alleged lack of training among jail nurses as well as other mismanagement following the jailhouse death of Michael Patrick Lass in October 2007. The next year, the county grand jury also criticized the jail medical program in a report entitled, “Man down. Will he get up?”

“Nothing can be done. Nothing will change,” is the mantra that county auditors heard repeatedly during the study, which began in October 2008 and will be presented next month to county supervisors.

Performance Auditor Steve Danley wrote that inmates were receiving medical treatment, despite an environment “laden with management, operational and administrative deficiencies.”

Among the audit’s other findings:

The monitoring of contracts with Western Medical Center in Anaheim and private doctors working the jails has been inadequate. Auditors found that neither group could back up years of billings to the county.

Now why does that conclusion sound familiar to me? 

New Millennium, a county-funded service contracted to do AIDS outreach in the black community, did not keep adequate records of clients’ race or HIV status. Time after time, the county gave New Millennium a pass even though it was nearly impossible to tell if the organization had helped anyone. Federal officials say such problems have been found nationwide. (Full Story)

I guess some things never change.

Read the complete Register story here.