McKinney, Cafero Advocate Closure of Riverview Hospital

February 8, 2011

Republican Leaders Say Common Sense Plan Would Improve Patient Care and Save Taxpayers $30 Million Annually

HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) and House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero (R-Norwalk) testified today before the Select Committee on Children in support of legislation they introduced to close the state-run Riverview Hospital in Middletown, CT and transfer its patients to private institutions throughout the state. The bill is part of the Republican Leaders’ Common Sense Commitment to Connecticut and aims to reduce waste and bureaucracy to offer a higher quality of patient care at a lower cost to taxpayers.

Riverview is the only state-run children’s psychiatric hospital in New England and it has become a model of government inefficiency and bureaucratic waste. According to the Commission on Enhancing Agency Outcomes, it costs upwards of $850,000 per year ($2,330/day) to care for a single child at Riverview. At Riverview, 400 state employees care for 67 patients. In one year, workers compensation claims for Riverview totaled $2.5 million compared to $2,500 for the same period at the privately run Glenholme School in Washington, CT. Industry experts have testified that private institutions across Connecticut can provide the same or better quality of care for about half the cost, potentially saving taxpayers more than $30 million annually. Further savings could be realized if the Riverview campus were repurposed or sold.