DHH discussing privatizing Briscoe Center

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - How to save 14.5-million dollars without hurting the quality of services provided by the state's Office of Addictive Disorders. - That's the task before state legislators. Wednesday evening it was the topic of discussion at Central School.

Of the 14.5-million dollars, 2.5-million dollars would go to privatizing six of the state's residential treatment facilities, including the Lake Area's Briscoe Center. At stake 29 employees stand to lose their jobs if the state chooses to out source to a private company. But officials say they'll still serve their clients regardless if they can pay.

"Privatized - meaning we will have contractors deliver the services through their own employees, but in terms of funding gets shifted to that private provider and so there is no loss in funding to do the work except that we have less funding available. Those services will still be made available to the same population that we serve. We will continue to serve that population except that it will be served through private entities," said Rochell Head-Dunham, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for the Office of Addictive Disorders.

However, Briscoe's employees and clients disagree. They say quality of service will suffer if you pay people less to do the same job. Again lawmakers must make a decision this upcoming legislative session for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.

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