Checkup time for Corizon, America’s prison medical contractor

Source: Beryl Lipton, Muckrock, August 7, 2015

It’s expensive to get sick in America. For some, the good news flip side of that is that there’s a lot of money to be made in healthcare. For our prison population, that healthcare might be provided by the government, but increasingly towns and states are finding medical costs and care too burdensome, and the task is being outsourced. More often than not, it’s being outsourced to Corizon. Corizon Health is currently the nation’s top provider of correctional medical care, proudly serving nearly 350,000 individuals in over 500 facilities in 27 states. These are some great numbers for them. But, since the company formed in 2011 through a merger of Prison Health Services and Correctional Medical Services, the company has been involved in hundreds of lawsuits, has lost contracts from Maine to Minnesota, and has faced scrutiny in Washington, D.C. (where it failed to win a contract this year) and Florida, where it still holds sway. … So, while Corizon is on the hook for certain violations, there is something to the fact that the government agencies that hired the company weren’t keeping a close eye on it. One can’t expect that the company itself is going to draw attention to breaches of contract – the agency outsourcing the work is responsible for ensuring that there is a useful infrastructure in place for calling problems out.