- Associated Press - Friday, April 27, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A hospital system has filed a lawsuit against a company hired to provide medical care for Idaho’s prison inmates, claiming it owes more than $14 million in medical bills.

The Saint Alphonsus Health System filed the suit Wednesday against prison contractor Corizon, claiming it has refused pay and refused to engage in settlement discussions, the Idaho Statesman reported .

The Boise-based hospital system and Corizon entered into a deal in 2011 with the contractor agreeing to pay care rates based on stipulated formulas. That deal ended in 2015.

Corizon then proposed a new contract, offering to pay the lower Medicaid rates for patients from the state prison system. The hospital system turned the deal down, telling Corizon to pay the regular rates.

The hospital system claimed that Corizon has not paid the “usual and customary rates” from February 2015 through March 2018.

“Given Corizon’s refusal to pay the significant amounts it owes Saint Alphonsus, and its refusal to engage in meaningful settlement discussions, Saint Alphonsus has no reasonable choice but to file the lawsuit,” the hospital system said in a statement.

The lawsuit also is seeking $5 million in interest on the medical bills.

Corizon has appropriately paid the hospital system for every patient it has sent for care, said Martha Harbin, director of external relations for Corizon.

“We find it unfortunate that a charity hospital would seek an additional $19 million from state taxpayers to care for patients who, if not for being incarcerated, would most likely access the hospital as indigent patients,” Harbin said.

Corizon claimed that the Medicaid rates it paid to the hospital system are reinforced under state statute.

The hospital system has argued that the statute setting Medicaid rates for prison patients does not apply to contractors.


Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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