D.C. Government:

Status of Transferring Saint Elizabeths Hospital to the District of Columbia

GGD-90-74BR: Published: Mar 26, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the federal government's transfer of Saint Elizabeths Hospital to the District of Columbia (D.C.).

GAO found that: (1) the transfer was at least 1 year behind schedule, due to transition problems, unexpected hospital population increases, and funding shortfalls; (2) in fiscal year (FY) 1988 and FY 1989, the federal government did not provide the full amount of authorized funding because of legislative constraints; (3) the D.C. Commission on Mental Health Services' (CMHS) estimate of $25.5 million in additional federal funds for capital projects was incomplete; (4) the federal government was not obligated to and did not maintain the clinical training program at CMHS; (5) the D.C. Mayor signed an act enabling unlicensed clinical staff to obtain district licenses, and D.C. expected to issue all licenses by April; (6) CMHS staff shortages have recently threatened its Medicare certification and CMHS has since taken steps to alleviate the problem; (7) CMHS and the D.C. fire department agreed that Saint Elizabeths firefighters would remain CMHS employees, but would be trained by the fire department; and (8) in FY 1989, new procedures enabled CMHS to provide $88,700 in supplies to other D.C. agencies.

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