2 Investigates: Embattled jail healthcare company may lose Alameda Co. contract

Alameda County's embattled jail healthcare provider may be out of a job soon, after the Board of Supervisors took steps to award the lucrative contract to a different company.

At Tuesday's meeting, the board voted to reject a motion to scrap all the bids and begin the process from scratch, despite recommendations from the Sheriff and the county Auditor-Controller.

Last month, Corizon filed a protest with the county, claiming the bidding process was "unfair," after the county recommended its competitor California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG), based in Monterey.

But the board disagreed. In addition to rejecting the call for a new bidding process the board also scheduled a special meeting for Friday, where they will vote on a motion to award the contract to CFMG.

CFMG's CEO says the company will be prepared to take over operations on September 1, when Corizon's contract expires. 
 
"We're going to have a full team of nurses, we're going to have a very large transition team to make sure that on day one we can deliver the care that we're supposed to deliver," said CEO Kip Hallman.
 
Representatives with the nurses' union say that for staff members working in the jail clinics, changes cannot come soon enough.
 
"I think there's a sense of too little too late. That this has been a long time coming and it's now happening," said Dennis Dugan, with the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).
 
2 Investigates has been looking into Corizon's track record for more than a year, following the death of inmate Mario Martinez at Santa Rita jail. Martinez's mother Tanti is suing Corizon, the county and Sheriff Greg Ahern over the death of her son in custody. 
 
But she says that Corizon losing its contract is just the beginning of what she would consider justice.
 
"When they're all held accountable, when the Board of Supervisors is held accountable for bringing Corizon into Santa Rita knowing their history, that's when I'll have some rest." 

 

 

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