Corizon, the country's largest private prison healthcare provider, lost a bid to renew its contract with the Minnesota Department of Corrections that it had held for the past 15 years.
Starting in January, Centurion Managed Care, part of St. Louis-based Centene Corp., will take over the two-year, $67.5 million contract.
The Minnesota contract had come under scrutiny in recent years after allegations of care mismanagement. In May, for instance, the state paid $400,000 to settle a lawsuit over the death of a 27-year-old inmate who had suffered at least seven seizures while in his prison cell in 2010.
But in a news release, DOC Commissioner Tom Roy praised Corizon's “excellent service to the state,” particularly in implementing managed-care reforms. He added, however, that Centurion will take the state “to the next level” with “new and innovative approaches,” particularly for behavioral healthcare.
“Corizon had a successful 16-year partnership with the Minnesota Department of Corrections, and we are proud of the quality patient care our talented team on the ground provided on a daily basis," a statement from Corizon said. "We lost this contract in the competitive bid process, and we wish Minnesota the best going forward.”