Source: Associated Press (WY), Sunday, February 26, 2006
CHEYENNE (AP) — An independent audit of health services provided to Wyoming prison inmates reported improvement in the system since the last quarterly audit in October. The latest audit found that in December, only 5.8 percent of incoming inmates were not being given health screenings within 24 hours of arrival and only 1.6 percent of new arrivals were not screened within a week, according to the Department of Corrections. That was down from 36.2 percent and 27.3 percent, respectively, in October.
Source: BY DAN CHRISTENSEN, Miami Herald (FL), Wed, Feb. 08, 2006
A politically connected Coconut Creek company that provides inmate healthcare services at the Broward County Jail has won a multimillion-dollar, three-year no-bid contract to provide medical services to county prisoners in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw hired Armor Correctional Health Services last month after quietly dumping St. Louis-based Correctional Medical Services. Florida sheriffs are not required by law to use a competitive process to award contracts, but they often do when large contracts are involved.
Source: By PAUL von ZIELBAUER, New York Times, January 31, 2006
The deputy commissioner responsible for the city health department’s Medicaid and jail health care programs resigned last Friday after only seven months on the job. His resignation is the latest of several recent departures and reassignments of doctors and administrators who supervised jail medical and mental health services, including the resignation this month of the assistant commissioner who oversaw the jail health program’s daily operation. ….. Managing a jail health care program as complex as New York City’s is a daunting task for any administrator, one that the city’s Tennessee-based medical contractor, Prison Health Services, has often made more difficult, city officials say, since taking over the contract in 2001. With varying degrees of success, city health officials have repeatedly prodded the company to improve its care, particularly for mentally ill and suicidal inmates, six of whom hung themselves during a six-month period in 2003. At the moment, only one of the top two jobs in charge of the health department’s jail health care program is filled, and not by a doctor, leaving no one with much experience dealing with inmates’ medical problems to monitor Prison Health Services.
Source: By PAUL von ZIELBAUER, New York Times (NY), January 27, 2006
The Tennessee company that provides health care to city inmates failed to meet one-fourth of its contractual performance standards for a third consecutive quarter last year, city records show. The latest review, completed this month, prompted city health officials to withhold $71,000 in payments to the company, the largest quarterly penalty for poor jail care since 2001. In the third quarter of 2005, the company, Prison Health Services, did not meet medical or mental health standards in 10 of 39 areas, including those covering H.I.V. treatment, mental health care and suicide watch, records show.
Source: By J.L. MILLER, The News Journal (DE), 01/26/2006
DOVER — Lee McMillan, whose husband nearly died in prison after flesh-eating bacteria attacked his body, wants to know why the state won’t release an audit of Delaware’s prison health care system. So do some legislators, who are backing a bill that would require the state to release the audit and similar reports — as long as confidential information such as personal medical records is withheld. House Bill 320, sponsored by Rep. Nancy Wagner, R-Dover North, would make reports that are paid for with public funds open to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.
….. In defending his record, Correction Commissioner Stan Taylor pointed to the audit, prepared by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, but denied a Freedom of Information request for the report by the newspaper. Taylor and former Attorney General M. Jane Brady ruled the accreditation report was not a public document. Taylor, though, said the audit was critical of the work of First Correctional Medical, a Tucson, Ariz., company. In July, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Taylor awarded a $25.9 million no-bid contract to Correctional Medical Services of St. Louis to pick up the provision of medical care in Delaware’s prisons.
Source: JOHN GHIRARDINI, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 01/19/06
Jail inmate Harriet Washington was the victim of a confused and clumsy medical response when she died in front of her cellmates, concluded a Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department investigation released Wednesday. ……The report raises questions, however, about the performance of Prison Health Services, the Tennessee-based company contracted to care for Gwinnett inmates. Deputies had urged that Washington be taken to the hospital, to no avail, the report states. ….. The county has a $4.8 million annual contract with Prison Health Services, which was renewed in September.
Source: Mark Hollis, Sun Sentinel (FL), January 10, 2006
Health care for inmates in all South Florida state prisons is being turned over this month to a national firm that promises to save the state millions of dollars a year. Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration is touting the boon to taxpayers that comes with putting Nashville-based Prison Health Services in charge of caring for more than 14,000 inmates in 13 prisons in southern Florida, including those in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. Some legislators are wary, in part because Prison Health’s bid for the work was tens of millions of dollars lower than its nearest rival bidders. They worry the company will take shortcuts that could bring unnecessary health risks to the prisons, and hidden costs like inmate lawsuits.
Source: Nin-Hai Tseng, Orlando Sentinel (FL), January 3, 2006
….. Volusia has privatized inmate health care with the goal of containing rising costs. The county contracts with Tennessee-based Prison Health Services Inc., which charges the county fixed rates to treat inmates inside and outside the jail. Although the costs of contracts budgeted have nearly doubled to $5.4 million since fiscal year 2000-01, county officials say the system has helped control expenses. Even though Prison Health Services has had a spotty record in states it has served, Volusia’s budget for inmate health care has rarely gone over the annual budgeted amount during the past five fiscal years.
Source: By KEN SUGIURA, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA), 12/07/05
Two Gwinnett County jail inmates say the company that provides health care at the facility largely ignored their repeated requests for help for their cellmate in the two days before her death. Harriet Washington, 43, of Norcross, died Oct. 17 in her cell. In a Nov. 8 letter addressed to the medical unit supervisor and the Sheriff’s Department’s internal affairs unit, inmates Kim Holmes and Carla Dotson allege that Washington’s multiple symptoms were for the most part ignored by staff from Tennessee-based Prison Health Services Inc., a private firm contracted by the county to provide medical care at the jail.