Corizon medical services

Bear, Bobby

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Corizon Medical Services Corizon took over from Correctional Medical Service (CMS) in about 2012. CMS was notorius for delaying treatment, or ignoring symptoms indicating the need for immediate care. Under Corizon things have only gotten worse. Here at Northeast Correctional Center in Bowling Green, MO a lot of the staff that worked here under CMS retained their positions under Corizon. I just saw on CNN in late August where Corizon and the D.O.C. in another state were sued for refusing to treat a diabetic that died as a result of their actions - or should I say lack of action. Unless it's a medical emergency you go to 'sick call' at your housing units specified time. Each house has a one hour window, but how this is interpreted is very different from what policy stipulates. In Farmington Correctional Center inmates filed on medical because they were turning guys away without being seen because the hour was up. It was determined that inmates could show up any time during that 1 hour window and that medical was required to see every inmate that showed up for sick call. Now here at N.E.C.C. we are dealing with that same problem. Staff arbitrarily determined there was a 10 minute window to make it to medical in. A frequent scenario transpires like this: the housing calls for sick call at 7:35 (5 min. late), you stand in line to get a pass in order to go to sick call (at other camps this is not necessary - you're Medical Services Request form is your pass) and the pass is issued to you at 7:38 because there were 5 guys ahead of you. you walk the eight of a mile to medical and arrive at 7:44 and you're told to go back to your house because you missed the window. Now if you do make it within the 10 minute window, chances are you still will not be seen! You see, the nurse will pick up the MSRs around 7:45 and finally call one person back around 8, then a second one back around 8:20. At 8:30 she'll come out and and hand the rest of the MSRs back to the inmates and tell them to come back and try again tomorrow! They figure that most guys will just give up. Now if they were forced to follow policy and had to see every sick call patient before leaving you can be sure they would see one every 3 or 4 minutes instead of 2 in an hour! But lets say you've finally made it through the sick call process and get to see a doctor, which is usually 2 to 4 weeks later, you'll likely see a doctor that clearly doesn't want to be there and/or just doesn't give a shit. But even if you do see the rare "concerned" doctor, chances are his superiors will stamp his legitimate request for treatment "denied"! Another tactic they use to avoid any expense they possibly can is to make you jump through as many unnecessary hoops as possible. Example: you have a blown out knee that clearly needs orthoscopic surgery. You'll wait about 2 weeks to get it x-rayed. Even though the x-ray show severe damage they will refer you to "physical therapy" which will not fix a blown out ACL, but will be torture. If you haven't given up after that they propose a regimen of 12 doses of 800mg ibuprofin a day, or any number of useless recommendations. If you refuse any of these recommendations they catagorize this as "refusal" of medical care and you are done. Most roadblocks to treatment are put up due to the costs associated with the care. It's a lot like Russian roullette waiting to see who gets treated and who is left to suffer or even die. So how about another example. Brad was 72 year old that had a pacemaker/defibrilator in his chest. He'd had it since before he came to prison. One day he felt an intense burning sensation in the area of the device. He had felt this before on the street and knew exactly what it was; his battery was leaking fluid into his chest cavity! When Brad went to medical to report it the nurses assured him it was simply a bad case of heartburn and shoved him out the door. He went back 2 more times the next day declaring a medical emergency and they just got more upset with him. A lot of times they treat you like you're just faking it to get attention. And some inmates do that, but that's no excuse for the way they blow us off on a routine basis. On the third day Brad collapsed in the chow hall seems his defibrilator was acting up! When he got to the hospital he was rushed into emergency open-heart surgery where they spent hours locating and evacuating all the leaked acid from the battery and replaced the battery. The doctor at the hospital was furious about his condition being ignored and volunteered to testify on his behalf in court. See, Brad had an immediate outdate and D.O.C. figured if they could just put him off for 20 more days they could avoid a huge hospital bill. They do the same thing with guys in here that have hepatitis C, and there seems to be quiet a few. They can tell by their bloodwork that certain indicators are high, and if it's treated early enough patients have a good chance of recovering. But the systematic delays inherant with this place drastically increases the suffering and mortality rate of guys in here that have hep C. My friend Carl was told over a month ago that his numbers were high and was "eligible" for treatment. A week ago he was up all night with what he thought was diarrhea. In the morning he told me about it and said he felt really dizzy and weak. Next thing you know he went for the stool and puked up blood - and lots of it! He had most likely been crapping blood all night thinking it was diarrhea. They rushed him to the hospital and he recovered. He still has not heard any news about starting treatment for his hep C. He has begun the IRR process and is preparing a legal strategy, but he may very well be too far gone by the time that accomplishes anything. Now when it comes to medical emergencies you pretty much have to be an award-winning actor and an ace salesman all wrapped up in one! I've known dozens of guys personally that were having hear attacks and were send packing - told it was heartburn or a bad case of gas! I was pushing my friend Eric to chow the other day in his wheelchair and he explained the scar on his left hand where he had finally gotten surgery on it. He said while he was in the recovery room he had a massive coronary! Good place to have one! Here he'd have been screwed! When they did a triple bypass on him right then and there the doctor that did the surgery asked him if he was aware that he had had at least a dozen mild heart attacks in the recent past, Eric explained to the doctor how familiar he was with the symptoms and how the Corizon medical staff had blown him off repeatedly and turned him away, sending him back to the housing unit. I've known guys that have been subjected to surgeries with no anesthesia: one was for varicose veins on his lower leg, another one had a metal plate and 5 screws removed from his ankle! This is like medieval torture! We were not sentenced to this. This type of treatment (or lack thereof) and negligence is how a 5 year sentence can easily become a life sentence (or death sentence!). It all boils down to accountability. Until Corizon and other prison healthcare companies are held accountable for their actions, inmates will continue to suffer unnecessarily or worse. And regardless of what some citizens believe, we are not all Charles Manson!

Author: Bear, Bobby

Author Location: Missouri

Date: February 7, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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