Prison reform advocates in the Washington, D.C., area want to take over a prison there being run by Corrections Corp. of America and turn it into the country's first nonprofit detention center. CCA's contract with the District of Columbia expires in January 2017.
Charlie Sullivan, the executive director of CURE, acknowledged that the idea might make him sound like a knight "chasing after one of those windmills." Still, he argues that his idealism may be exactly what is needed.
"What both the private and government-run prisons are doing is just holding people,” said Sullivan. “They’re playing defense; we need to play offense. We need to give people an opportunity to change their lives.”
While panelists at Wednesday's Nashville Health Care Council Wall Street analysis event had plenty to agree on — the need for Medicaid expansion, the likelihood of further hospital and managed care consolidation and the very low chance of an ACA repeal — one topic had the panel divided.
Led by Community Health Systems Chairman, President and CEO Wayne Smith, the discussion ranged from perception to prediction, but the panel of analysts were not in consensus about a long-term "doc fix," a way to better control what physicians are paid by Medicare. While Congress has continued to kick the can in regards to replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate adopted in the late 1990s, each short-term postponement of physician pay cuts has heightened the financial need for a long-term solution. (Click here for some good background from The Washington Post.)
While local analysts Whit Mayo of Robert W. Baird and Frank Morgan of RBC Capital Markets told the event's audience that a permanent solution was likely — Morgan said that, if anything actually gets done in D.C. on this issue this year, it will be a long-term plan — Credit Suisse's Ralph Giacobbe and Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Kevin Fischbeck disagreed.
Fischbeck predicted only a 20 percent likelihood of a long-term fix, because it is politically easy to continually pass the small bills and Giacobbe said political gridlock will continue to be too strong to allow for a real solution.
The Washington, D.C., office of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz has added to its ranks Stephen Azia, a two-decade veteran of health care regulatory law. Azia, who is bringing with him senior associate Kathleen Salsbury, previously worked at a small firm that dissolved early this month. He also has worked at global law firm Duane Morris and at the Health Industry Distributors Association.
Members of Leadership Health Care, an initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council, are preparing to attend the 11th annual Delegation to D.C., to be held March 13-14 in Washington, D.C. The two-day trip attracts approximately 85 LHC delegates each year and allows attendees to meet with industry heavyweights who provide insight regarding issues impacting health care. Post sister publication Nashville Medical News has a preview story here and will provide updates (to which we will link) during the next week.
An employee of Corrections Corp. of America pleaded guilty last week to taking money to smuggle cash and a thumb drive into the Correctional Treatment Facility in Washington, D.C. The employee, a female officer who had been with CCA for four years, twice arranged meetings with an undercover FBI agent and accepted $900 to shuttle contraband between inmates.