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Corizon Stands Firmly Behind Healthcare In Idaho

The recent Special Master’s report regarding healthcare at the Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI) is an incomplete, misleading and erroneous representation of the current healthcare delivery system. The flawed report totally undermines the hard work and trust developed between the Idaho Department of Correction, Corizon and our inmate patients.

Despite the fact that this report is not the finding of the court or a court order, it is very likely to be misunderstood by the public and inadvertently misrepresented in media coverage to be exactly that…the conclusion of the court. This is in large part due to the author’s inappropriate use of legal language, and worse yet, making legal conclusions which are totally unsupported by the facts.

The process used by the author of the report to assess the provision of healthcare at ISCI was incomplete, not consistent with the thorough audit of care recently performed (2010) for the Idaho DOC by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC), which found the care provided to our inmate patients was in compliance and met ALL accreditation standards. The conclusions reached in the report are largely based on anecdotes related to a few isolated events and are not substantiated by the facts as demonstrated by the recent NCCHC audit and accreditation.

The quality of healthcare provided at ISCI is further substantiated by outcome metrics constructed from over 43,000 tests results performed in 2011 from an independent reference laboratory which demonstrates that the healthcare exceeds constitutional requirements. These outcome metrics were offered to, but apparently consciously ignored by, the author of the report. We are so confident of the quality of the healthcare services we are delivering, in partnership with the Idaho Department of Correction, that we have contracted with a much more experienced auditor, Robert B. Greifinger, MD, to review the methodology of the author’s report and we have requested that the National Commission on Correctional Health Care return to the state and perform a thorough review in compliance with the court’s instructions, at Corizon’s expense. NCCHC will be on site in Idaho to conduct its audit on April 2 and 3.

We are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of our employees in Idaho and with our ongoing partnership with the Idaho Department of Correction. That’s why we find this section of the report’s executive summary (Page 4) to be such a damning example of the author’s overall bias. It reads:

“… I think it is very important to note some of the uplifting bright lights at ISCI which bodes well for change and improvement. The Warden recognizes the critical importance of healthcare delivery, is progressive, and is willing to entertain change. The ISCI Mental Health Program Director is energetic and actively involved in the healthcare delivery system. Corizon has hired a new Health Services Administrator and a new Director of Nursing, both of whom come with a lot of experience, devotion to their work, and ideas for improvement. The chief psychiatrist is well trained, hard working, dedicated, and trying to do his best. The dental program is without problems. With few exceptions, the most important members of the healthcare team – the front line healthcare and custody professionals – are hard working, dedicated people who clearly want to do a good job. Finally, while this report describes examples of problematic healthcare, many instances of healthcare delivery at ISCI are good or excellent. But many is not good enough.”

In summary, it would appear from this incomplete, misleading and erroneous report that to pass constitutional muster in the mind of its author, perfect or near perfect is required to meet his flawed interpretation of constitutional standards. Such a conclusion is unsupported in light of the very thorough study done less than two years ago by the NCCHC, which found Idaho’s care of its prisoners to be in compliance with national correctional healthcare guidelines. Corizon is very proud of the job we are doing in taking care of our patients in Idaho and the state has received quality clinical awards the last two years!

About Corizon Corizon provides quality healthcare services to 115 clients at 552 facilities across the country serving approximately 362,000 inmates in 27 states. With its corporate headquarters in Brentwood, Tenn. and the operational headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., Corizon is the leading provider of correctional healthcare services in the United States. For more information, please visit www.corizonhealth.com.