AL signs $360 million prison health care contract

AL signs $360 million prison health care contract
Gov. Kay Ivey has signed a contract for prison health services worth $360 million. (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey's office confirms she has signed a contract with Wexford Health Services to provide medical care to the Alabama Department of Corrections.

The 30-month contract, worth approximately $360 million, will cost more than the state's previous health contract due to an increase in the number of people.

This is part of a requirement from the court order issued by Federal Judge Myron Thompson, who ordered the state to address its inadequate level of mental health care in 2017.

Lawmakers have approved a supplemental appropriation adding $30 million to the ongoing year's budget, most of which will go toward this contract. The state will also likely approve a budget this week increasing the DOC's budget by $55 million this year. Again, most will go toward the medical contract with other money going toward hiring more DOC officers.

"The contract and supplemental funding will increase clinical staffing levels by 25 percent and provide comprehensive mental and medical care through the state's prison healthcare system," the DOC said in a statement.

The contract was initially held up by lawmakers, as there is some concern about Wexford being sued by the State of Mississippi as part of a bribery scheme that allegedly the DOC commissioner there.

Wexford is one of around a dozen companies being sued in Mississippi.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the contract length from 30 years to 30 months.

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