CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Virginia consulting firm has been awarded a contract to conduct a thorough review of West Virginia’s massive health agency.
McChrystal Group LLC of Alexandria, Virginia, was among two bidders for the contract. The firm provided a cost estimate of $503,648 for the Department of Health and Human Resources’ organizational assessment and $578,770 to develop a strategic plan.
The DHHR has a $7.6 billion budget, or 39% of the state’s entire spending. In late March, Gov. Jim Justice vetoed a bill that would have split the DHHR into separate agencies.
In a statement issued Friday by the agency, Justice said, “I am committed to making our DHHR better and look forward to engaging with these national experts to complete the top-to-bottom review, so that we may clearly identify DHHR’s issues and inefficiencies. We need to make sure there is no lapse in services for our residents who rely on their support.”
Some supporters of the failed bill had said it was long overdue for such a large agency and could have helped better address the state’s substance abuse crisis. West Virginia has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate.