Improving Veteran Care with Outsourcing

Mackinac’s Michael LaFaive says Michigan should outsource the management of veterans’ homes. Seven states have opted to outsource. Of course there are cost savings, but LaFaive points out that outsourcing can improve service, too: According to Priva-Trends, the firm was able to a) reduce the number of bedsores among its patients by 86 percent; b) reduce the number of patients suffering from severe weight loss by 88 percent; c) eliminate all restraints used on patients; and d) increase the number of patients served by 11 percent during the first year of its contract. In addition, Priva-Trends invested $1 million of its own funds in the facilities under its care on the 17-acre complex. It built a new dental services office complete with laboratory, oral surgery space; and new x-ray equipment. In 2002 every one of the skilled nursing facilities Priva-Trends operates for the state of Georgia was found to be “deficiency free” by the state licensure survey teams that inspect such facilities unannounced.