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Florida prison vendor agrees to hefty fine in Pa. case

The company awaiting final approval from Gov. Rick Scott's administration to privatize health care services for most Florida prison inmates has agreed to pay a $1.85 million fine in Philadelphia for skirting minority contracting requirements. The vendor, Prison Health Services, now known as Corizon Health, is accused of falsifying official documents and federal prosecutors are looking for evidence of mail and wire fraud.  

News accounts in Philadelphia newspapers report that the city's inspector general, Amy Kurland, as describing the arrangement as a classic "pass-through" in which health care for city jail inmates was subcontracted to JHK Inc,., a female-owned business in Indiana that handled pharmaceutical supplies. The company said it had permission from prison employees for the arrangement.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter called the city's settlement with the company"a significant moment that sends a very, very strong message to everyone who does business with the city," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

As the story was breaking in Philadelphia, Scott's Department of Corrections was formally asking the Legislature for approval to shift $58 million in health care funds across categories so that it can hire Corizon and a second private vendor, Wexford Health Sources, by January 2013. The request for a budget amendment is pending before the Legislative Budget Commission and appears below.

To All Legislative Members:
This Budget amendment is pending approval by the Executive Office of the Governor and requires LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMISSION approval. If the Commission chairman elects to agenda this amendment it will be implemented on 8/8/2012.

Budget Amendment Request #:
 
B0096
Requested by:
 
Department of Corrections
Problem Statement:
The department has requested and received proposals for the statewide privatization of comprehensive health services. In order to award the contracts, budgetary action is needed to transfer funding to the appropriate category.

Agency Request:
The department requests to transfer $57,668,391 in General Revenue to the Inmate Health Services budget entity, Inmate Health Services category from the following categories within Inmate Health Services: Salaries and Benefits  $ 37,535,005 Other Personal Services 12,875,012 Expenses                             6,697,952 OCO                                         199,229 Contracted Services              361,193 Approval of this request will enable the department to move forward with the statewide privatization of comprehensive health care services based on a January 1 implementation date.

EOG Recommendation:
Recommend approval for the transfer of $57,668,391 in General Revenue in the Department of Corrections between various categories within the Inmate Health Services program. The transfer is necessary for the department to move forward with the statewide privatization of comprehensive health services with an anticipated January 1, 2013, implementation date.

-- Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Frank

Corizon is the product of the merger of two inept and apparently larcenous corporations, Prison Health Services and Correctional Medical Services. The merger retained a majority of top officials of both. PHS and CMS often lost contracts for malfeasance, and due to their industry dominance, replaced each other in different states and municipalities.

Wexford is smaller, but equally troubled. The 2006 stories regarding their prison medical services in New Mexico got their contract terminated and a legislative audit was perform to assess the sorry state of affairs.

Paul

Another way of stealing tax monies.

whasup

You know, some bright person in the press should re-write this more clearly, telling us just what they did wrong.

Or maybe what they did was only a technical error, given Philly's rules.

Of course, that wouldn't make for such a good headline, would it?

MichaelM

whasup, you must be a tool for the hard right republicans or Scott as you always side with the corrupt politicians. Private prison operators and private health care in prisons have a long history of abuses, scandals, and poor performance. Simple google searches will yield bunches of news articles. Hey, but when you got Rick Scott and the rest of the corrupt republicans in your pocket, what difference does it make, just a bunch of thieves taking from the taxpayers. Flori-duh you need to wake up and get these republicans out of power. They are destroying Florida.

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