- - Thursday, March 26, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your recent article, “DC Jail medical contract sparks city council criticism” (Web, March 18), may leave readers with a faulty impression of our company and what’s at stake in the pending D.C. City Council vote to approve our award.

The notion that a for-profit care provider somehow serves inmate patients differently than a nonprofit would serve them simply isn’t true. We serve more than 345,000 inmates at 531 facilities in 27 states, including Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Arlington counties. Our size and scale allow us to meet the unique needs of correctional facilities and tailor services to best serve each client. We are clinically focused and committed to optimal outcomes.

Washington Times reporter Andrea Noble quotes the CEO of the current provider, Unity Health Care, saying that as a nonprofit, Unity does not have the “deep pockets to put the money, resources or the time into doing all the things” that a for-profit can. Why then does Unity’s 2013 tax return show that it earned an 18-percent untaxed surplus (revenues less expenditures) of $4.19 million on its Washington contracts?

Nowhere does Ms. Noble note our partnership with MBI, a Washington-based certified business enterprise that provides health care services to Washington’s underserved. The contract will provide MBI more than $30 million for their services. Unity’s current contract has no CBE participation.

One possible explanation for the much lower number of lawsuits (and damages paid) since Unity took over in 2006: Unity has sought and secured “deemed Federal health agency” status, making it generally immune from malpractice and other professional liability lawsuits. Even with protection the number of lawsuits against Unity per 1,000 inmates was higher than Corizon’s.

Ms. Noble quotes at length one council member’s opposition. Nowhere is Mayor Bowser’s statement that “critical requirements of the District can only be met through an award of the approved multiyear contract [to] Corizon Health Inc.”

WOODROW A. MYERS JR.

Chief executive officer, Corizon Health

Brentwood, Tenn.


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