Report shows overbilling for prison health care

Print More

(Host) Attorney General Bill Sorrell says he’s looking into allegations that the state was overbilled for services provided by private contractors who treat inmates in Vermont’s prisons.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports.

(Zind) A report by the state auditor says Vermont inmates did not receive mental health services that the state paid for. The report said there were at least $141,000 in questionable billing by private providers under contract with the Department of Corrections. It said the figure could easily go higher.

The report also says the Department of Corrections didn’t exercise enough oversight of the mental health providers. Auditor Elizabeth Ready calls the situation serious enough to warrant a complete overhaul in the way mental health services are delivered to Vermont prisoners.

Attorney General Sorrell says it’s too early to tell if his office will launch an investigation, but he plans to ask the companies to show that they’ve provided the services they’ve been paid for.

(Sorrell) “And if not, what adjustments do they propose to make. And depending on their answers, we’ll decide whether we launch a formal investigation or nor and whether that investigation is more civil in nature or more criminal in nature.”

(Zind) The Department of Corrections is conducting its own audit of mental health services. The auditors report comes in the wake of two suicides and several other deaths in Vermont prisons.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

Comments are closed.