Healthcare provider cuts ties with Jackson County Jail

Posted at 3:59 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 18:28:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The private company responsible for healthcare inside the Jackson County Jail will end its 3-year contract with the county a year early.

Correct Care Solutions (CCS), which is based in Nashville, is one of the largest providers in the country. The company works at facilities in 38 states, including in Kansas at the Johnson County Jail. 

Their $3.2 million-per-year contract was supposed to end in 2019, but CCS notified the county their staff will leave in mid-July.

In a joint statement, Jackson County Public Information Officer Marshanna Hester and CCS spokesman Jim Cheney wrote:

"In accordance with the contract, both Jackson County and Correct Care Solutions have the right to exercise provisions of the contract if it is in their best interest. To that end, Correct Care Solutions has made an internal decision to exit the contract with Jackson County. The decision in no way reflects the professionalism and positive partnership Correct Care Solutions has experienced with Jackson County's team and leadership."

This announcement comes as a task force studies whether or not a new jail should be built. Two scathing audits released last year revealed understaffing and overcrowding at the facility, where a corrections officer was brutally assaulted in November. 

At the time, 41 Action News spoke with a former CCS employee who said he quit his job because of security concerns. Dr. Frank Varon was a part-time dentist at the jail and said on multiple occasions he found medical instruments left out on the counter where staff performed procedures on inmates. 

"I didn't want to put my license on the line, and I'm not going to," Varon said of his decision to leave.

CCS said the instruments are locked in a cabinet everyday, and an inmate would not have access to them.

The company didn't respond to our request for further comment on the decision to leave the Jackson County Detention Center.

Now Jackson County will open a bidding process to find a new healthcare provider for the jail.