AZ Prisons Contract With Health Care Provider Under Criticism


The private contractor taking over health care in Arizona’s prisons promises significant improvements in care while saving money, saying it will do more with less. Critics charge that Wexford Health Sources’ record elsewhere suggests that sometimes it fails to live up to its promises and may do less with less, reports the Arizona Republic.

Arizona’s Department of Corrections, fighting a federal lawsuit that accuses it of providing grossly inadequate health care, issued a contract to Wexford this week as part of the state Legislature’s attempts to save money by privatizing prison health care. There are reasons for great skepticism” that Wexford can deliver what it promises, said Caroline Isaacs of the American Friends Service Committee. “One is that Wexford has a clear pattern of not living up to its commitments in other contracts,” and another is that the Department of Corrections has a history of failing to hold other contractors, such as private-prison operators, accountable when they haven’t lived up to contract terms.

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