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Corizon wins contract to provide health care at Kansas prisons

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, at 8:31 a.m.

Corizon, one of the larger for-profit providers of health care for correctional facilities, recently won a multimillion-dollar contract with the Kansas Department of Corrections starting next year, according to a news release.

The new contract includes medical, dental, pharmaceutical and mental health services and covers about 10,000 adult and juvenile offenders.

The contract covers part of 2014 and all of 2015, with opportunities to extend the contract through 2023. It states that for 2014, Corizon will receive no more than about $27.7 million for half a year of services. In 2015, a full year of service, the contract says the maximum payment to Corizon would be $57.8 million.

If all renewal options are exercised, the contract calls for steadily increasing payments to no more than about $81.3 million by the final year of the contract in 2023, totaling more than $652.9 million for the entire term of the contract through 2023.

Corizon was formed in 2011 with the merger of Prison Health Services and Correctional Medical Services. Prison Health Services was the contractor for the state from 1992 to 2002.

Corizon provides health care services in 29 states for more than 500 correctional facilities across the country, according to the news release. Its corporate headquarters is in Brentwood, Tenn.

Its parent company was downgraded by Moody’s, an investment service, in September due in part to contract losses in Maine, Maryland, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. It also recently lost a contract with the state of Minnesota.

Earlier this month, the Broward Bulldog, a website in Florida, reported that Corizon replaced its CEO and president after the Moody’s downgrade.

Representatives from Corizon declined an interview, but did provide some responses by e-mail, saying that the downgrade by Moody’s was not related to the appointment of a new CEO and president.

From 2003 until now, the provider for managed care services in Kansas correctional facilities had been Correct Care Solutions, which is based in Nashville, Tenn., and has a regional office in Topeka. Representatives from the company declined comment for this story.

Jeremy Barclay, communications director for the state corrections department, said one of the primary reasons the department decided to bid the contract instead of opting for a two-year renewal with Correct Care Solutions was because of electronic medical records.

Under the new contract with Corizon, the department will have an updated electronic medical record system, which will be extended to include juvenile facilities that do not have them, he said. It will also include digital X-rays and telehealth equipment to help reduce the number of trips offsite.

Barclay says the new contract will allow for about 25 percent more mental health staff statewide for offenders who do not currently have access to mental health services and additional medical services for the Wichita work release program.

The state has had managed care companies in charge of the correctional facility health care since 1988, according to Barclay. The first company to provide it, Correctional Medical Systems, was the contractor from 1988 to 1992.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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