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PHS Parent Company Fires Executives For Cause In Billing Scandal

America Service Group, the parent company of Prison Health Services, has fired two high level employees in connection with billing improprieties by its prison pharmacy division.

ASG fired Trey Hartman, president and chief operating officer of Prison Health Services, on December 7, 2005. Grant Bryson, president and CEO of Secure Pharmacy Plus (SPP), was fired on December 9. Hartman formerly ran SPP, which provides pharmaceuticals to prisons and jails. The two men were fired for cause, according to the company.

In October 2004, ASG launched an investigation to determine whether SPP overcharged its clients for drugs and ignored generally accepted accounting principles. The audit was expected to cover all periods since ASG acquired SPP in September 2000. A recently resigned SPP controller had identified the issues under investigation, according to the company.

In November 2005 the NASDAQ stock exchange warned ASG it was subject to delisting because it had not made timely financial filings with the Securities Exchange Commission. ASG delayed its third quarter reports pending conclusion of the SPP audit. In a January 10, 2006, letter the stock exchange notified the company it would continue to be listed if its third quarter report was filed by March 15. ASG also had to provide the final report of the SPP investigation by February 28, 2006.

America Service Group, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, is the largest provider of for-profit prison health care in the United States. It is also the subject of numerous lawsuits over inadequate medical care, deliberate indifference, negligence, and other malfeasance. The companys current trading symbol is ASGBE. The E will be dropped from the trading symbol when the group fully complies with NASDAQ filing requirements.

Sources:, Nashville Business Journal

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