Corizon Health Broadens Fight against Opioid Addiction

Brentwood-based healthcare provider launched successful MAT pilot in
Philadelphia jail system

BRENTWOOD, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the U.S. continues to grapple with solutions to the national opioid
addiction epidemic, Brentwood-based Corizon Health is preparing to offer
a successful treatment pilot to additional communities the company
serves across the U.S.

Corizon, a leading provider of healthcare to correctional facilities
across 17 states, developed and refined a pilot program for
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid addicts over the last
year in conjunction with one of the company’s largest clients, the
Philadelphia Department of Prisons. Philadelphia County had the highest
overdose rate of any of the 10 most populous U.S. counties in 2017, and
opioids were found in 88 percent of drug overdose deaths.

“Corizon’s MAT program brings best practices already shown to be
successful in community medical practice into the corrections
environment, where the need is especially acute,” said James E. (Pete)
Powell, M.D., chief medical officer for Corizon. “Our work with our
client in Philadelphia to roll out this program has shown great promise,
and we look forward to sharing what we learned there and continuing to
refine our program as we prepare to offer it to other communities that
need this critical service.”

Corizon medical professionals who helped develop and deliver the MAT
program in Philadelphia presented an information session on the process
and results on Tuesday, April 9, at the spring conference of the
National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC) at the Gaylord
Opryland Hotel.

The MAT program combines three key elements that are integrated for
optimum outcomes. Patients are prescribed buprenorphine tablets, a safe
and relatively fast-acting medication that effectively blocks the opioid
craving in the body. Patients in the program are provided with a
transition dosage package upon release from incarceration, to reduce the
chances that the individual will have obstacles to getting such a
prescription filled upon release. Finally, the Corizon team networks
with treatment programs in the community to establish a referral base
for patients to initiate and continue community-based care following

Corizon’s MAT pilot launched in early 2018 at the Riverside Correctional
Facility for women, where one in four women (25 percent of the total)
who entered presented with untreated opioid use disorder. The MAT
treatment was later added for the male population in all facilities
housing male prisoners in late summer.

The opportunity to save lives with MAT in the corrections population is
especially acute, given the extremely high rate of overdose deaths that
occur within a short period of time following inmate release. A recent
study in Rhode Island comparing post-incarceration fatal overdoses
(tallied in the pre- and post-implementation periods of a related MAT
procedure) showed a reduction in mortality of more than 60 percent.

The rollout of MAT in Philadelphia made the jail system the largest
provider of medication-assisted treatment in the city. Dr. Bruce
Herdman, chief of medical and behavioral operations for the city’s
department of prisons, saw a window in the average 100-day jail stay to
be a well-managed opportunity for detox and recovery for opioid addicts.

“We are making the most of the chance to care for people who are not
getting cared for in the community,” Herdman said.

“Our new MAT program is one of several initiatives underway as we see
new ways to utilize evidence-based medicine and evolve Corizon into an
even stronger community and state partner,” said Steve Rector, chief
executive officer. “Virtually every community in this country is seeking
productive tools to fight the opioid epidemic, and we stand with our
clients in providing workable solutions in that effort. Everything we
are introducing will cumulatively add to our focus on health and safety
for patients and reduced recidivism for communities.”

Corizon Health has long supported the work of the NCCHC, and the company
adheres to NCCHC standards in its delivery of care regardless of whether
the individual correctional facility has undertaken the rigorous process
of achieving NCCHC accreditation. Corizon, which celebrated 40 years of
service to communities in 2018, is a leading provider of correctional
healthcare services in the United States, serving states and
municipalities across the country. Corizon offers individual or
comprehensive solutions for primary care, behavioral care,
pharmaceutical and re-entry services. For more information, please visit www.corizonhealth.com.


Eve Hutcherson
Corporate Communications
Corizon Health
[email protected]

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