NYC Health + Hospitals Successfully Completes Transition of Health Services in City Correctional System
Mar 23, 2016
Correctional health services (CHS) in the City’s jail system have been successfully transitioned to NYC Health + Hospitals “with no lapses in coverage and no disruptions in patient care,” said Dr. Ram Raju, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, in testimony before the City Council this week.
“To successfully complete this transition, [NYC Health + Hospitals] worked closely with representatives from the Mayor’s Office and City agencies along with our union partners, Doctors Council, NYSNA, and locals 1199 and DC37, to clarify the governance structures, resolve legal liabilities, identify and transfer nearly 300 core oversight staff, and ensure budget neutrality to our organization,” said Dr. Raju. “At the same time, we have already begun reshaping the framework of CHS to support what we hope will be a transformation in the way we care for our patients.”
The transition from Corizon Health, a for-profit company that operated correctional health services under contract with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH), began in July 2015 when the de Blasio administration sought to provide better services to inmates. In August, NYC Health + Hospitals took control of the program, with a $237 million annual budget, 1,700 employees and around-the-clock operations in twelve jails citywide, and successfully brought on essential Corizon and DOH staff prior to Corizon’s contract expiring on December 31.
All non-union staff from senior executive to jail-site leadership have been unified into one management structure within CHS, replacing the old model of an oversight agency and an entirely separate vendor. As part of the transition, NYC Health + Hospitals reviewed the personnel and credential/licensing files, and conducted background checks for more than 1,200 individuals who worked for Corizon. CHS also conducted in-person interviews with each individual to assess their qualifications and commitment to being part of a new team that would change the way care was being provided in the jails.
NYC Health + Hospitals also reached an agreement with the largest physician practice in New York State to help provide patient care services in New York City correctional facilities. The Physician Affiliate Group of New York (PAGNY), a non-profit professional service organization, will employ approximately 900 direct patient care providers and support staff in correctional health. An agreement was also reached with Correctional Dental Associates (CDA) to provide dental services. CDA has been the dental services provider in New York City correctional health facilities for the past 10 years.
“We take on these challenging new duties with a determination to create a secure environment for patients and staff,” said Dr. Raju. “As part of NYC Health + Hospitals, Correctional Health Services is better positioned to increase the quality of and access to care for incarcerated patients, improve continuity of care during and after incarceration, and help fulfill our mission to provide equal access to safe, affordable, quality care for all New Yorkers.”
CHS has already begun to leverage NYC Health + Hospitals’ large network of services and programs to improve patient care. Since December, MetroPlusHealth, NYC Health + Hospitals’ health plan, has set up enrollment counselors at the Rikers Visitor Center to help patients and their families enroll for health insurance. CHS is also working with the NYC Health + Hospitals Federally Qualified Health Center organization, Gotham Health, to help inmates and their families connect to community-based health centers and primary care outside the jail system.
Following the successful transition period, CHS is now working with the Department of Correction to examine physical plant, safety conditions and existing processes, ranging from sick call to inventory management, in order to increase accountability and productivity. Opportunities for closer collaboration between CHS and hospitals within the NYC Health + Hospitals system are also being explored.
Contact: Levi Fishman,
About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the nation with a network of 11 hospitals including six regional trauma centers, community-based health centers, nursing homes, post-acute care centers, and a correctional health services unit. The system includes a home care agency and a health plan, MetroPlusHealth. The health system provides essential services to 1.2 million New Yorkers every year in more than 70 locations across the five boroughs. Its diverse workforce of more than 42,000 employees are uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest life possible. Visit nychealthandhospitals.org and stay connected: https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter @NYCHealthSystem.