Contra Costa County Health Services Department ‘Efficient and Well-Run,’ Audit Finds
The Contra Costa County Health Services Department is "efficient and well-run," according to an independent audit released Monday, the Contra Costa Times reports (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 12/3). County supervisors in July 2001 requested the audit after a grand jury report said that financial problems in the department would lead to reductions in services for low-income and uninsured county residents. The grand jury said the department had a $10 million budget deficit in fiscal year 1999-2000 and estimated a $17 million budget deficit in FY 2000-2001 (California Healthline, 7/17/01). The audit, prepared by Henry Zaretsky & Associates and The Lewin Group, found that the department "matched up well" with health departments in San Francisco and Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Joaquin and Ventura counties, the Times reports. The audit also said that the "strong, centralized structure" of the department's financial and information technology systems helps administrators "maximize flexibility," the Times reports. "Overall, the department is viewed as one of the most effective and successful ... in California," the audit said. However, the audit recommended improvements in the department's workers compensation program. Dr. William Walker, county health services director, said, "We agree with all of the recommendations and we have already implemented many of them" (Contra Costa Times, 12/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.