Contract News

Corizon Health CEO Steve Rector offered the following statement in response to Federal Judge Magistrate David K. Duncan’s court order issued earlier today:

“Today’s ruling by Federal Magistrate Duncan against the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) unfortunately fails to recognize the progress and improvement that is and has been the reality of inmate health care since the ADC engaged in a settlement with ACLU plaintiffs in 2014.

As the healthcare provider chosen after the plaintiff’s lawsuit was initiated, Corizon Health has worked diligently with the ADC to increase and meet compliance with the 849 measurements contained in the law suit settlement. That progress now reflects exceeding minimum compliance rates on 90 percent or more of the measures. With an average of more than 4,100 patient encounters a day, Corizon Health is successfully providing an exceptional level of health care to Arizona’s prison population.

This ruling, combined with the loss of millions in taxpayer dollars that will be paid to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorneys, negatively impacts critical funds needed to meet the requirements of the settlement and it also demonstrates ACLU’s higher regard for pursuing their stated public policy objective of reducing inmate populations. This legal battle unfortunately also underlines why incarceration policy is best made under the direction of Arizona’s elected policy leaders, the Governor and state legislature and not in courtrooms.

Make no mistake, be it Corizon or any other private healthcare provider, the ACLU will attack the mere existence of private healthcare providers in our prison system and its levels of incarceration, regardless of any accomplishments by a provider.

This charade by the ACLU is sad for the taxpayers of Arizona and for the inmate population we serve. Though Corizon Health was not a party to this suit, we will continue to work closely with ADC to provide Arizona’s inmate population with the best care in what is often difficult circumstances. We are hopeful the State of Arizona will choose to appeal the Court’s decision and we look forward to continuing to work constructively in supporting the ADC’s and Corizon Health’s steadfast improvement in the delivery of health care.”

As sourced by the Arizona Department of Corrections

Corizon Health and our Arizona Department of Corrections partner have surpassed minimum compliance scores on more than 90 percent of the measures monitored under a court settlement agreement for at least the past six months. Motions have been pending for several months for the court to remove hundreds of the measures from monitoring due to 24 months of consistently exceeding required scores.

The settlement agreement was the result of a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU and others against the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2012, three years before Corizon was asked to take over providing healthcare services in Arizona prisons. Corizon is not a defendant in the lawsuit and did not participate in the settlement agreement that was worked out between the ACLU and the state. It identified almost 900 clinical measures to be audited monthly by state compliance monitors. The goal of the settlement is to reach and maintain for 24 months an 85 percent compliance threshold for each measure to meet the terms of the settlement agreement. Less than 10 percent of the total measurements remain to be brought to a consistent 85 percent compliance level.

Our dedicated team of healthcare providers in Arizona is working tirelessly to resolve challenges that create barriers to care and deliver a constitutionally sound healthcare program, grounded in evidence-based medicine. These doctors and nurses, many of whom view their practice as their mission in life, work in one of the most challenging environments to deliver care to one of the sickest and most under-served populations in our society. Many of our patients enter incarceration with multiple chronic disease issues and having had little, if any, access to healthcare. We understand the importance of returning these patients to health so they may successfully reenter society. We’re proud of our team and the gains they have made to improve the quality of Arizona’s prison health program.

The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) recently re-accredited the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey, after collaboration between jail administrators and Corizon Health staff ensured all standards were in compliance. The NCCHC is an independent organization established by the American Medical Association to set standards by which jails and prisons are measured. The initial accrediting and every three-year re-accreditation process is an exhaustive deep dive by NCCHC inspectors into all aspects of inmate welfare, reviewing hundreds of standards and lasting several days.

A key challenge to meeting all standards was ensuring individuals entering the facility received a health assessment within their first four hours at the jail – a goal made more difficult following New Jersey’s Bail Reform policies, which increased the length and complexity of the intake process by eliminating the ability to post bail before making a court appearance. Meeting this challenge required the jail to increase custody staff, and Corizon’s team established a triage process to assess all inmates
immediately after booking to identify those with the greatest medical needs. Next, a newly renovated intake area was built to provide nurses with a separate area to assess inmates confidentially and expedite their intakes as well as referrals to a practitioner when necessary. The result is that most inmates are seen in less than two hours.

Pictured are Corizon’s “Core 5” at the Passaic County Jail. From left to right Diane Lourido, RN, Compliance Coordinator; Dr. Joel Federbush, Director of Behavioral Health; Allison Genberg, LCSW, Health Services Administrator; Dr. Richard Berardi, Site Medical Director; and Sharon MacIntosh, RN, Director of Nursing.

 

Idaho Maximum Security Institution nurse Chelsey Holcomb, RN, is pictured with her Silver Cross award for intervening in an emergency to save a patient’s life. To her left is Josh Tuckett, IMSI HSA; Jessica Guzetti-Johnson, DON at IMSI, and Tom Dolan, AVPO for Idaho.

Three Corizon Health nurses were honored last month with the Idaho Department of Correction’s Silver Cross for lifesaving interventions. Anthony Young, Allison Miguez and Chelsey Holcomb each received the award for intervening in emergency situations to save their patients’ lives.

Our team of committed healthcare professionals strives daily in jails and prisons throughout the nation to bring care and preventative medicine to those who are incarcerated. It is always a special day when some of these unsung heroes are recognized for their work.

Corizon Health has long recognized the unique needs of our patients who served in the military and the high-rate of PTSD among that population. Through our partnership with the Missouri Department of Corrections, A veterans dorm established at the Moberly Correctional Center has had such promising outcomes that such housing is being established at Potosi Correctional Center, Algoa Correctional Center and Boonville Correction Center. Thanks to Correctional News magazine, you can read more about Missouri’s Veteran Dorm Program here. Special recognition to MDOC’s Functional Unit Manager of the Moberly veterans dorm Amanda Lake, MDOC’s Deputy Director of the Division of Adult Institutions Alan Earls, and Corizon’s own Institutional Chief of Mental Health Services at Moberly Patricia Cahill. The commitment they have to helping these veterans successfully return to society shines through in their work.

Back (L-R): Jocelyn Holmes, Dr. Kevin Bredeman, Jenny Meehan, Dr. Ernest Graypel, Bryan Wieberg, Blake Farrill; Front (L-R): Christina Bolton, Heather White, Cindy Schupp

Between wrapping up the year-long team building Survivor Challenge and collecting/making items for our “Adopted Foundation,” the Missouri Regional Office personnel club has had a busy month in December. The Survivor Challenge has been a 12-month competition within the regional office with challenges ranging from puzzles, to less than appetizing foods, and ending with everybody tossing in their “buffs” to become part of different teams to make reindeer antlers out of balloons and pantyhose.  Teams had twenty minutes to make the tallest antlers possible. The winners’ antlers were 53 inches tall! Continue reading

Nurse Practitioner Andrew Boudreau, Acting Warden Erica Huss and Psychiatrist Dr. Terry Meden

Two Corizon Health Providers at Marquette Branch Prison in Michigan were awarded Warden Coins of Recognition for their ongoing support in providing care to a challenging patient population. Receiving the award from Acting Warden Erica Huss were Nurse Practitioner Andrew Boudreau and Nurse Psychiatrist Dr. Terry Meden. Continue reading

(L-R) Captain Jim Macedo, Sheriff Rick DiBasilio, Sheriff Keith Royal and Chris Bell

The second annual John Sully Award, which funds college scholarships for selected youth, was presented at a recent training meeting of seconds in command for the California State Sheriffs Association. This year, the award went to Captain Jim Macedo and Sheriff Rick DiBasilio of Calavares County and Sheriff Keith Royal of Nevada of Nevada County. Continue reading

Every year, the American Cancer Society uses the month of October to increase awareness about breast cancer. In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women and 2,470 cases will be diagnosed in men. In addition, 63,410 cases of in situ breast carcinoma will be diagnosed among women. Approximately 40,610 women and 460 men are expected to die from breast cancer in 2017.1 Continue reading

By: Jeffrey Clark, RN, Regional Clinical Services Director

Doing the basics right every time, for every patient, is the basis of the Corizon Health Core Processes.

As teams throughout Corizon Health continue to embrace the Core Processes, the Nursing Services Healthcare Support Team (HST) has seen few any more excited to launch the program than the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) Team. The Nursing Services HST conducted Phase I and Phase II Medication Management training for the entire ADC operation in August 2017. This was identified as a priority, as medication management is a critical part of maintaining patient health and an essential component of the healthcare delivery process. Continue reading