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From the Editor

This month’s cover story on Corizon, the company formed by the merger of Prison Health Services and Correctional Medical Services, is our most recent reporting on an issue that has been ongoing for the past several decades. Namely, the prison HMO model whereby corrections agencies contract with for-profit companies to provide medical services to prisoners, while the companies’ business model requires that they delay or deny treatment in order to make a profit. Not surprisingly this results in a pattern of deaths, injuries and pain suffered by prisoners who have no other options for obtaining medical care.

What is interesting is that despite decades of abuse, corruption and fraud, the government entities that contract with for-profit prison medical providers still fail to adequately monitor and audit their performance. Even after repeated contractual violations, if one company’s contract is canceled or expires, the government typically awards the contract to another corporation with similar performance problems. Besides Corizon, other prison medical care companies include Wexford Health Sources, Centurion, NaphCare, Armor Correctional Health Services, Correct Care Solutions and Conmed Health Management.

The notion that such companies should actually be required to provide the medical services for which they are being paid with taxpayer dollars seems alien to the government officials who enter into these contracts. If anyone has information on services that are being contracted by corrections agencies but not being performed by medical care providers or other private prison companies, please contact us with details.

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