District of Columbia Jail: Medical Services Generally Met Requirements and Costs Decreased, but Oversight Is Incomplete

GAO-04-750 Published: Jun 30, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2004.
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Highlights

Since the end of a court-ordered receivership overseeing medical services at the District of Columbia Jail in September 2000, the Department of Corrections (DoC) has contracted with the Center for Correctional Health and Policy Studies, Inc. (CCHPS) to provide inmate medical services. GAO was asked to provide information on (1) the medical services DoC contracted with CCHPS to provide, including CCHPS's monitoring of its services; (2) mechanisms DoC established to oversee CCHPS's services; (3) CCHPS's contract compliance and DoC's efforts to ensure compliance; and (4) the cost of medical services. To collect this information, GAO analyzed documents and interviewed officials from District agencies, CCHPS officials, and an independent reviewer hired by DoC to monitor medical services.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
District of Columbia To help ensure that CCHPS provides required medical services to inmates of the District of Columbia Jail and the CTF, the Mayor should require the Director of DoC to develop formal procedures--including collection of needed data--to regularly assess whether CCHPS's performance meets the contract requirements that are linked to monetary damages and to impose these damages.
Closed – Not Implemented
As of August 26, 2005, the District of Columbia, Department of Corrections had not implemented the recommendation. The recommendation is now moot because a different contractor is providing medical services at both the DC Jail and Correctional Treatment Facility.
District of Columbia To help ensure that CCHPS provides required medical services to inmates of the District of Columbia Jail and the CTF, the Mayor should require the Director of DoC to ensure that CCHPS submits to DoC the required quarterly and annual progress reports, which should describe identified problems and the actions CCHPS has taken to correct them.
Closed – Implemented
On August 26, 2005, the District of Columbia, Department of Corrections provided documentation showing that the first annual report for the period covered by and immediately following our report (3/04 - 3/05) had been submitted by the contractor, as had the quarterly reports for a period following our report. The annual report provides information on identified problems and actions taken to correct those problems.

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