The contract win comes days after Corizon announced that it received a new contract with the Kansas Department of Corrections, covering 10,000 inmates. But Corizon lost its prison healthcare contract in Minnesota, which it had held for 15 years. The Minnesota contract had come under scrutiny 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.
In Idaho, Corizon's contract will run for five years with two renewal options, each for an additional two years, according to a company news release. The contract, which begins on Jan. 1, covers 7,100 inmates, and also will cover the Idaho Correctional Center, a private facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America, starting July 1.
The new contract also comes about a year after a scathing report commissioned as part of a federal court review found what was described as “cruel and unusual” care at the Idaho State Correctional Institution, where Corizon manages care. The healthcare issues raised by the court-ordered report included delayed or no response to emergencies, use of expired medication and incomplete recordkeeping.
Corizon commissioned its own independent audit, which disputed the findings and found that its care was consistent with the standards of the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare, which accredits prison healthcare programs.
“The fact that the Idaho Department of Corrections awarded the contract to Corizon is a testament to Corizon's excellent care and quality patient outcomes,” said Dr. Woodrow Myers, Corizon's CEO, in the release. “It is time to put the past allegations behind us and continue in our mission of providing high-quality healthcare.”
A spokesman for the Idaho Department of Corrections declined to comment ahead of an appeal period that ends Tuesday afternoon.
The Florida Department of Corrections recently awarded Corizon a five-year, $1.2 billion contract.
A Florida investigative website found that Corizon has been sued more than 600 times for medical malpractice in the past five years, and half of those cases remain open, according to litigation records provided by Corizon to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher