by Danny Hooley
On Tuesday, the INDY contacted Jim Cheney, a spokesman for Tennessee-based Correct Care Solutions, with questions about the Jan. 19 death of Durham County jail inmate Matthew McCain and the alleged lack of medical care he received while there, according to his loved ones.
CCS has been providing medical services at the jail since 2005, under contract with Durham County.
Cheney sent his responses on Wednesday.
First, here are the questions we asked in our email:
"In the past few years, Correct Care Solutions has been hit with lawsuits from families of inmates who died in detention, and under the care of CCS. Such suits have been filed in Macomb County, Michigan; Forsyth County, NC; and one lawsuit in Lancaster County, Nebraska was settled in 2014 for an undisclosed amount.
"In Westchester County, NY, two Correct Care nurses were found to be "grossly incompetent" in the death of Rashod McNulty from heart problems.
"There seem to be two patterns here. One is related to how CCS employees seem to treat some patients with opiod dependency. Is there a prescription policy at CCS that may have caused these problems, and, if so, how is that being addressed?
"Or is it just a hiring problem? A training problem? If so, is it also a factor in causing employees to determine — wrongly, in some cases — that some inmates are "faking" when they complain of severe symptoms? If so, how is that being addressed?"
Here are Cheney's responses:
Patient TreatmentYou can read more about lawsuits against Correct Care Solutions here.
We are not at liberty to disclose specific details about patient activity. Our industry is highly regulated when it comes to the disclosure of an individual’s medical information, so we will respectfully decline comment on this aspect of your inquiry. This is an unfortunate situation and we are fully cooperating with our client as the circumstances surrounding this situation are being reviewed.
CCS is a leader within our industry with respect to the standards of performance we require of our employees. Our professionals undergo significant screening and are highly trained to perform their responsibilities effectively. If we determine that an employee has failed to perform up to our standards, we take the necessary actions to ensure that those standards are upheld.
In every facility we serve, our patients undergo an intake assessment upon arrival. This includes a screening of their current health and specific questions related to prior alcohol and drug use. This assessment determines the degree to which a patient’s health is monitored and necessary medications are administered.
If a patient indicates that they are currently under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or that they may be at risk of withdrawal, we implement a monitoring and treatment protocol. If the patient is actively in withdrawal, or is not forthcoming about their potential for withdrawal but our staff identifies symptoms, then depending on the severity of their symptoms, we initiate a detoxification program that could entail anything from immediate hospitalization to administration of approved medications.