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Society

New York City to Wind Down Deal with Embattled Medical Company Tasked with Housing Migrants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York City will move to end its contract with a medical services company hired to house and care for a recent influx of international migrants, following scrutiny over the firm’s costly deal with the city and the quality of its humanitarian services.

Mayor Eric Adams’ office on Tuesday said the city would not renew its contract with DocGo before it expires on May 5 and will instead search for a new housing provider for migrants.

DocGo, which previously worked with the city to provide COVID-19 testing, was awarded a $432 million no-bid emergency contract last year to help the city manage a massive new population of migrants.

The arrangement drew questions from city Comptroller Brad Lander, who in reviewing the contract determined there wasn’t enough detail to justify the cost and that it wasn’t clear how the company had the expertise to transport, house and feed thousands of migrants.

News reports from the New York Times and Albany Times Union also detailed alleged mistreatment of migrants under the company’s care, including issues with health care and food waste, among other things. Its chief executive officer resigned after he admitted to lying about his educational record.

DocGo currently provides care for 3,600 migrants in New York, half in the metro area and half upstate, officials said.

The company will continue to provide services for migrants who were relocated upstate until a new vendor is picked, with the city aiming to have a new contractor by the end of the year. In New York City, officials will temporarily use an existing contract with the company Garner Environmental Services to care for migrants.

“This will ultimately allow the city to save more money and will allow others, including non-profits and internationally-recognized resettlement providers, to apply to do this critical work, and ensures we are using city funds efficiently and effectively,” Camille Joseph Varlack, chief of staff for the mayor, said in a statement.

The city has other ongoing contracts with DocGo and will continue to work with the company in those deals.

In a statement, a DocGo spokesperson said the company is “immensely proud of the exceptional work that our team has accomplished and continues to perform in aiding the City’s response to this unprecedented crisis.”

New York has struggled to handle an influx of international migrants who have arrived in the city since 2022, with more than 187,000 people coming through its intake system seeking shelter.

Politico first reported the news of the city declining to renew its contract with DocGo.


By ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE Associated Press

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