Hiring of consultant upsets some

archive_import

By ABBY SOUZA

Although he was unhappy with the price tag, Tuolumne County Supervisor Dick Pland voted along with the rest of the board yesterday to hire a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act consultant.

The county will spend $54,934 for the consultant to tell the county how to comply with HIPAA rules on security, privacy and transmission of health information that identifies individual patients.

"HIPAA is very labor intensive," said Ann Maloney, the county's privacy officer. She said county staff members are not educated enough in this type of work to complete it without the consultant's help.

But before the vote, Pland took issue with the costs of consultants. In this case, the county has to pay the state an "administrative fee" just for generating a list of possible consultants.

At 1.93 percent, that fee comes out to $1,040.

"That is an awful expensive piece of paper," Pland said.

From that list, the board chose CHC Healthcare Solutions of New Jersey to complete all the HIPAA work.

This isn't the first complaint Pland and other supervisors have had with the cost of price of consultants.

In May, the county applied for a grant to develop a plan for how county agencies would function during a disaster. While some of the $75,034 grant was for training and equipment, most up to $48,300 was for a consultant to develop the plan.

"It seems ridiculous in my view that we're spending this much money on a consultant," Pland said.

The emergency plan's grant funds came from federal coffers, said Supervisor Mark Thornton, but Pland maintained that the county generally pays too much for consultants.

Besides the HIPAA work, the supervisors considered approving funds for the Sugar Pine Trail project.

The board put off a decision until next week. Budget issues require four of the five supervisors to vote in favor. Supervisor Larry Rotelli was absent and Supervisor Paolo Maffei had to excuse himself from the vote because he lives near the project.

11511715
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday April 29, 2017

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Beloved music teacher, actor dies at 64

04/24/2017

The local arts community is mourning the loss of Rick Restivo, a ... more

Several new businesses to open in downtown Sonora

01/26/2017

It’s shaping up to be a transformative year for the City of ... more

Former Stanislaus National Forest employee missing

04/26/2017

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team is continuing its ... more

Cannabis and Calaveras County

04/21/2017

Marijuana farms are tucked away on isolated mountainsides in Calaveras County, out ... more

Board to provide input on state, federal issues

04/14/2017

Expanding broadband Internet access, funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, ... more