CMS-Correctional Medical Services?

  1. Currently, I work for PHS, but on 11-19-06 they will no longer be in charge of my facility. CMS is one of the companies that may be taking over...I would like to know if any one can give me some info on this company. Do they pay well? How do you like working for them? Some of the news I've read online is disturbing to say the least. Your input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    About ex1140

    Joined: Feb '04; Posts: 160; Likes: 26
    from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience in Mental Health


  3. by   Jarnaes
    I have worked for CMS. They do not like to spend any money. (i.e. My HIV/AIDS patients were told to bring in their own meds... CMS would not purchase any). Staff pay was low. Each site is given a budget, if your site manager/medical director manage to come in under budget they each get a nice Christmas bonus based on their "savings". This sets a bad precedent for quality medical care. Right before I quit, I was asked to come to the local DA's office and give a statement- I guess they were invstigating the care- or should I say lack of care the company provided. I don't know if CMS still have that contract. I hope not.
  4. by   jamangel
    I also have worked under CMS and what was said above is true. The administrator gets a nice little bonus for staying under budget. Also I had to demand a decent pay because I was coming in WILLING to do the pill call for over 300 inmates evening shift and prior to my arrival 7 nurses had come through and quit.
  5. by   ex1140
    Thanks Guys...I'm prepared for the worst...
  6. by   Mudwoman
    I work for CMS.

    There is never $$$ for PRN nurses. We get 188 hours of paid time off a year, but can never get it. If you don't use it, you loose it-----how convenient. Every time someone calls in, we have to have our schedules changed because CMS doesn't do overtime pay either.

    I normally work Fri, Sat, Sun 6am to 6pm. Today, I get a call that they need me to work tonight instead of tomorrow----the answering machine took the call. You learn real fast that on your days off, you DO NOT ANSWER YOUR PHONES. You will be required to sign a paper that states that you understand that they can require you to work any shift any day that they need you. If you are smart, you will make them change that to the days you want to work and an agreement that it can't be changed unless you agree to it. One of the nurses had to pull a 24 hour shift the other day because someone called in and therefore she had no replacement. Your employment contract will clearly state that you can't leave until a replacement shows up. I have worked 36 hours straight before because I was left holding down the fort. The HSA's are not supposed to cover shifts.

    We are supposed to have 2 nurses on duty Mon-Fri. We seldom have more than 1 for 300 inmates. We are supposed to have a guard on duty with us at all times, but CMS doesn't make an issue of that with the prison and we fight tooth and nail for security and I have been left alone with inmates in medical many times.

    We do not have a DON, but rather a Health Services Administrator (HSA) and that leaves us "hanging" on many issues lots of times. Our HSA is not very flexible. I would say more, but better not.

    I recently refused to sign a paper about requirements to count narcotics and sharps and the last sentence states that I understand failure to count subjects me to termination, prosecution and loss of my license. It is pending and I may be terminated for failing to sign such a thing. My position is that only the state board of nursing in this state has the power to take away my license and I'm not giving anyone permission to prosecute me for not counting something.

    Turnover is high. I have been with CMS 1 year and I am next to the top in senority. I have yet to have a review or a raise. If you are willing to relocate and you can hang in there with CMS, you can get promoted.
  7. by   Mirth
    I worked for CMS. They kept taking away benefits, left and right. I worked almost NO weekends when I started. Ended up working every other weekend. The over time sucked, cos folks would call in sick. They finally gave us a pay raise, cos they could not hire anyone new at what they were paying, and they had to give all of us raises, or we would quit.
  8. by   alexmia
    CMS is the worst company that I have ever worked for. The policies and procedures change on a daily basis. you are never sure that you are following the proper procedures if the outcome cost money then you are placed in corrective action because of your decision but your DON or HSA cannot tell you what the right procedure is. If you have a problem at your site with your HSA or DON no need to try to resolve it because if you need to talk to HR nothing is confindential. HR will talk and tell you it's confindential and hang up with you and e-mail your manger and tell them exactly what you say and it's okay for your manager to retelate against you. the pay is low the benefits are bad. CMS is in the business to keep management receiving large pay checks. If the inmates are sick, they dont want you to run test because they dont want to know what is wrong with them because they will have to pay for their treatment. you are ridiculed if you send an inmate out for anything.
  9. by   **nurse**
    Wow!!! I have just started working for cms on prn basis and have to confess the staffing is looking a tad shy of what's needed. Pay for prn is good, fulltime rate was less that I'd like but $4. more an hour than what I made as DON at that facility 4 years ago. $27 day shift ft rn (I'll put it out there).

    I worked for CMS for I guess a year or two in the 90's. I liked the work so much and was brand new to the field, I didn't have a problem with them. PHS was next for 3 years, and they were ok until the regional manager had this soap opera quality vendetta against my HSA and ground our noses into the dirt, a dirty hard year of no staff and 80 hour work weeks for the lowest pay in the state. Then FCM came in and personally I found them the worst.

    I guess what it boils down to is how good your medical is right now. Usually they don't make big changes in staffing when contracts change, if everything is running fairly well the hsa, don, and most of the staff stay. If you like your job now, you probably still will. Anyway, someone else will come in and underbid them and underpay you in a couple years down the road. But where else can you have this much fun?
  10. by   LMRN713
    I have to disagree. I've worked for CMS for over 6 years and I love it. Sure, the company has its' downfalls, but what company doesn't? I'm sure each site is different, but our prison provides medical care that meets community nursing standards. In other words, it doesn't matter that they are Inmates, they get the same care as anyone else would. To a certain extent, of course, but that would be expected. If your site is NCCHC certified then the above complaints shouldn't be a problem where you work. If it is not NCCHC certified, then I the facility has no rules or guidelines to go by, so therefore doesn't have to answer to anyone but themselves. I love my job and I do hope you give it a try!:spin:
  11. by   Nuriel
    I too worked for PHS and CMS did take over and immediately my pay was cut and the staffing patterns were changed. Despite the changes we were always understaffed and out of supplies to perform duties. I spent many days running between facilities to borrow supplies. Also, do not expect them to pay you in a timely manner. I reported them to wage and labor. Moreover, they never appreciate anything you do and administration will not back you when you need them. You are always at risk for termination. I have place many calls to the corporate office and nothing was ever done; I did not even receive return calls on many occasions even while I was regional administration.

    Do what you have to but keep abreast of changes. Our health insurance and benefits even changed. ''

    They are one of the WORST companies to work for, they are selfish, and most of all money hungry.