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Apr 2, 2017
Firm criticizes new Chatham County Jail health care provider
We are hearing from the company currently monitoring health services at the Chatham County Jail. Community Oriented Correctional Health Services was hired back in August when the county switched health care providers from Corizon Health to CorrectHealth. The monitoring company claims CorrectHealth is failing to meet some of the standards and guidelines outlined in its contract with the county. According to a letter sent to the county manager, they are recommending the county levy more than $3 million in fines. "We take a look at various policies and procedures on different visits,” said Steven Rosenberg. Rosenberg is president of Community Oriented Correctional Health Services, a non-profit based in California that monitors health providers across the nation including jails. Chatham County Commissioners hired the group back in August when CorrectHealth took over after Corizon. "I don't think it's a secret that they have had challenges with their previous vendor and that the purpose of us being there was to try to make sure that things were going to go smoothly with the new vendor,” Rosenberg said. The group monitors and documents jail operations twice a month. Last month, Rosenberg sent a letter to Chatham County Manager Lee Smith citing between the months of November and January, CorrectHealth failed to develop timely policies and procedures, maintain adequate staffing, a full-time medical director, and build effective relationships with the subcontractor to ensure patient safety. The letter also recommends the county fine CorrectHealth for more than $3 million in penalty charges. But Rosenberg says, over the last six months, the sheriff has been very eager to meet accreditation standards. "Every single suggestion we've made to the sheriff he's implemented as quickly as possible. Sheriff (John) Wilcher has been very supportive and committed,” said Rosenberg. It's unclear whether the county will take the recommendation and ask for that $3 million in penalty charges. CorrectHealth released a statement saying, “the letter refers to issues from the previous health care vendor. All those issues have been resolved.” Neither the county manager nor the sheriff could comment Monday.