In the past several years, many news stories have been written about the challenges of for-profit entities providing government services. As an example, two prominent judges in another state were indicted on charges when it was discovered that they were receiving kick-backs from for-profit juvenile centers when they remanded adolescents to those facilities. In New Mexico, Corizon Health provides physicians and health care to inmates, and has recently come under scrutiny because of its lack of transparency in several medical malpractice settlements.
If a malpractice suit is filed against Corizon, and a settlement is made, the company is not required to provide details of the settlement or the physician who treated the patient. Corizon operates detention facilities in many states, and has had to pay several high-value lawsuits in the past years. In New Mexico, more than 200 inmates have filed suit against the corporation since it took control in 2007.
A nonprofit magazine that covers prison-related civil litigation and criminal justice issues filed a lawsuit against Corizon and the state of New Mexico when both refused to disclose any details of malpractice settlements. There is a strong sentiment that any entity paid by government funding should be transparent and open to examination. In the meantime, the number of prisoners who are filing lawsuits continues to increase.
People in the prison system still deserve quality medical care if they are injured or ill while incarcerated. Furthermore, it is important that all physicians’ malpractice information be discoverable when they leave government employ. It could benefit those in similar situations to seek the advice of an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice in the state of New Mexico. An attorney can review the details and help determine the best legal path to explore.
Source: santafenewmexican.com, “Contract with state allows Corizon to keep its settlements secret“, Phaedra Haywood and Justin Horwath, April 17, 2016