Globe Uncovers Another Scam?

Today’s Globe has a piece well worth reading concerning a no-bid contract between the state and the UMass Medical School.  It illustrates how things are done in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  

Well worth reading the whole thing but my eyes focused on the following sections near the end:

One element concerns the highly compensated state bureaucrats running the program:  http://www.boston.com/lifestyl…

State records show that the school’s deputy chancellor for Commonwealth Medicine, Thomas Manning, received $526,000 last year in total compensation, and that Joyce Murphy, vice chancellor and chief operating officer of Commonwealth Medicine, was given $414,854. Six other Commonwealth Medicine executives received in excess of $200,000.

A second element to the story is how the program is used to shuffle the books of the state to make it look like the state spends less on Medicaid.  Of course, this creates no value for the taxpayers.

For the state, the contracting arrangement reduces stress on its budget. Because of federal Medicaid rules, Massachusetts is able to make its Medicaid budget look smaller, even though, in the end, taxpayers see no savings.

Here’s how it works: For every Medicaid-related service the state’s health agency awards to Commonwealth Medicine, it reduces by about 50 percent the amount the Legislature must appropriate for the work and shifts that spending to UMass books.

UMass puts up the rest, and the state’s health agency then seeks federal reimbursement for Commonwealth Medicine’s share of the bill, plus its fees, and forwards that money to Commonwealth Medicine.

Times like this we could have really used a Mary Connaughton

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  • can anyone help establish:  

    1. Whether the Thomas Manning cited in the above article is a relative of the Robert Manning who was the chairman of the UMass Board of Trustees until his recent resignation?

    2. How state pension costs are handled when they do an ISA.  Since the state assumes unrealistic returns on its pension assets and puts away nothing for retiree health benefits, the state deliberately depresses current period benefit costs.  That give the state a built in advantage against a private contractor.  How does that figure in (I bet it doesn’t)?