Let's put aside the fact that currently there are no community settings that do provide comparable services to Fernald. That's the basis of the families' concern over closing Fernald.
But what about the proposal to scale back Fernald and improve the cost efficiency of its operations? We've talked about it on this site, in The Boston Herald, and in other papers around the state. The Fernald families have actually been proposing their “postage-stamp” idea for years for reducing the size of the Center's footprint on the campus.
Yet, this compromise proposal was never mentioned in Secretary Bigby's statement. As I wrote in another post on this site, the silence continues over this proposal.
But let's put that issue aside as well for the moment. Secretary Bigby, can you just tell us how you arrived at your figure of $239,000 per resident at Fernald and $102,000 in community settings?
The media throughout the state is using the $239,000 figure today, and taking it at face value. I've tried to point out many times, to no avail, that it is meaningless at best to take Fernald's entire budget and divide it by the number of Fernald residents. The budget covers a myriad of costs and services that don't pertain either directly or exclusively to the residents.
Secretary Bigby, did you take the entire Figure budget and divide it by the number of residents, or did you use some other method of arriving at the $239,000 figure? Did you consider all of the services that Fernald currently provides to community-based residents, such as medical care and dental services? Did you discount the cost of the Shriver research center and the homeless women's shelter on the campus, which don't benefit the Fernald residents? Did you discount the cost of the day program sites at Fernald, which serve community residents, and the DMR Boston metro regional administrative office, which is also located on the Fernald campus?
Similarly, what services did you consider in deriving your figure of $102,000 for care in the community? Would you mind providing us with the backup documents for your analysis?