Department of Behavioral Health Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The State-run Eleanor Slater Hospital will be overseen by a team of health care management consultants while state officials work to fix numerous problems. A recent report cited numerous patient safety concerns and financial problems at the facility.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

When Maria Montanaro took the reins of the state department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, she inherited an agency with massive responsibilities, and major challenges. Among them, mounting costs and allegations of abuse at Eleanor Slater Hospital – the state psychiatric and long-term care facility for people with serious illnesses.

Recently appointed director of the state’s behavioral health agency Maria Montanaro says Eleanor Slater Hospital is facing serious problems. She told members of the House finance committee this week that the state-run hospital is costing more than it should, particularly in personnel.

“The recent study we completed shows our overtime hovers at 11 percent," said Montanaro, "while a private hospital system would expect overtime at two to three percent of its personnel hours.”

I'm combing through a Rhode Island Senate Fiscal Office summary of Governor Lincoln Chafee's FY 2015 budget proposal - a handy document that summarizes the item in question and analyzes its potential impacts. In health care, there's lots to digest.

But here are a few items that have caught my eye so far. And keep in mind, these are all still up for debate.

State health workers are in demand. A job fair Thursday, sponsored by the state’s Department of Labor and Training and department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, advertised 50 open positions.