- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on a class-action lawsuit over the quality of health care for Arizona prison inmates (all times local):

6 p.m.

A medical services contractor is disputing comments by Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan about shoddy health care for the state’s 35,000 prison inmates.

Ryan has blamed Corizon Health Inc. for a failure to follow through on promises to improve health care for inmates when the state settled a lawsuit over inmate care.

But a spokesman for Corizon says the company “has worked tirelessly and in a strong partnership” with the Corrections Department to provide health care for state prison inmates since March 2013.

Ryan testified Tuesday that Corizon failed to make improvements the state promised in 2014 when it settled a lawsuit alleging shoddy health care.

Corizon spokesman Kurt Davis says the company was complying with 73 percent of the performance measures as of March 2015 and has since increased that mark to 94 percent by January 2018.

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2:20 p.m.

Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan is blaming a medical services contractor for a failure to follow through on promises to improve health care for inmates when the state settled a lawsuit over inmate care.

Ryan testified at a hearing Tuesday over whether he should be found in contempt of court for providing inadequate health care.

He began his testimony in court by saying he was ultimately responsible for providing health care to inmates.

But he pointed the finger at Corizon Health Inc. for falling short in making improvements.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Duncan has threatened to hold Ryan in civil contempt for noncompliance.

The state could be fined as much as $1.9 million for instances of noncompliance in December and January.

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1 a.m.

Arizona Corrections Director Charles Ryan is scheduled to testify at a court hearing over whether he should be held in contempt of court for falling short on promises to improve health care for prisoners.

The hearing Tuesday was called after U.S. Magistrate David Duncan repeatedly voiced frustration over what he called Arizona’s “abject failure” to make the improvements it promised when it settled a class-action lawsuit over the quality of health care for inmates.

Duncan also has threatened to fine the state $1,000 for each instance during December and January in which it failed to make the improvements.

The state has acknowledged that it has more than 1,900 instances of noncompliance in December and January.

That means the state could be fined as much as $1.9 million.


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