Almost three quarters of the nation's local health departments (LHDs) have privatized some services. About half of LHD directors who privatized services reported cost savings and half reported that privatization had facilitated their performance of the core public health functions. Expanded access to services was the most commonly reported positive outcome. Of those privatizing, over two-fifths of LHDs reported a resulting increase in time devoted to management. Yet, one-third of directors reported difficulty monitoring and controlling services that have been contracted out. Communicable disease seri ices was cited most often as a service that should not: be privatized. There is a pervasive concern that by contracting out services, health departments can lose the capacity to respond to disease outbreaks and other crises.
Author(s): Christopher Keane; John Marx; Edmund Ricci
Volume 79, Issue 1
Published in 2001