Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner today notified Corizon Health, Inc. of her concerns and expectations regarding current allegations that Corizon is not providing services in adherence to its $11.5 million contract with the County. Corizon became the new Jail health services provider on September 1, 2013 when it was awarded a contract by E.R.F., effectively replacing the former nonprofit provider, which had been in place at the jail for over a decade. In a letter sent to the organization’s CEO, Woodrow A. Myers, Jr., M.D., Wagner detailed her “grave and serious” concerns, including numerous complaints reported to the Controller’s Office. Wagner also noted the County’s right to assess monetary penalties if Corizon does not fulfill its obligations.
“As the Controller of Allegheny County, it is my duty to protect taxpayer funds and ensure that all public monies are spent appropriately. As a member of the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board, I have the responsibility to ensure that the Jail is operating safely and efficiently,” Wagner wrote. “This company receives up to $11.5 million of taxpayer money annually and I am deeply concerned with their performance during the first six months of this contract,” Wagner added.
According to recent reports, Corizon fails to meet basic responsibilities for inmate healthcare, as demonstrated by its lack of staffing levels needed to treat inmates appropriately, inability to distribute medication properly, abandonment of pregnant inmates, unsatisfactory management practices and more.
“This letter places Corizon on formal notice of my grave and serious concerns about the healthcare provided to inmates at the Allegheny County Jail and the working conditions to which Corizon is subjecting its employees at the Jail,” Wagner said. “The current situation is unacceptable. I expect changes to be implemented immediately, or else my office will take necessary actions.”