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Bartholomew County has renewed a contract for jail medical services that officials estimate is saving the county up to $150,000 a year.
County Commissioners on Monday approved the $248,380, annual renewal of services with Advanced Correctional Healthcare, of Peoria, Ill.
The county first contracted with the company in 2008, said Maj. Gary Myers, the jail commander. At the time, the county was spending more than $350,000 a year for health care and was looking at future costs of more than $400,000, said Commissioner President Carl Lienhoop.
“This thing was eating us alive prior to 2008,” Lienhoop said.
The company provides emergency and non-elective medical care to inmates, including some dental benefits and prescription medication, according to the contract. The company also provides body-cavity searches and collection of DNA and physical evidence as requested.
The contract provides for a physician or nurse practitioner to visit the jail weekly and to be on call around the clock, and a mental health professional to visit the jail for up to eight hours a week.
Myers said inmates are charged a $15 copay for medical visits, if they are able to pay it. He said the charge stays on the inmate’s account for a month, and if any money is donated by relatives or friends to the inmate’s commissary account, the county will recoup the copay. However, many inmates are not able to pay the bill, he said.
Myers said the company’s services are used three to four times a day.
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