- Special Sections
- Public Notices
CANNELTON - A Peoria, Ill.-based health-care contractor that already provides medical services in half of Indiana's county jails will soon oversee health care for men and women incarcerated in Perry County.
Commissioners approved a verbal agreement Thursday with Advanced Correctional Healthcare, a five-year-old company already working in 11 states at facilities ranging in size from 18 beds to more than 1,100. Final approval of a contract will follow next month if the county council approves transfers of money at a meeting Thursday.
Under terms of the deal discussed with commissioners last week, Ad-vanced Correctional Healthcare will be paid $53,837 for physician services, prescription drugs and medical supplies needed by offenders in 2008. The company will also provide a range of health-related management services, including training of jail employees, who will relay information to physicians and administer medication - tasks Sheriff Bob Glenn said they already handle.
Of the total amount to be paid, $20,000 will be set aside for medical care provided outside of the jail, including emergency-room visits. Any money left over from the account at the end of the year will be returned to the county, less a 10-percent management fee.
"I think it's a win for everyone, especially taxpayers," Glenn said. He and County Council President Pete Franzman said other counties who contract jail health-care services with the company praised Advanced Cor-rectional Healthcare's performance.
A Louisville-based physician em-ployed by Advanced Correctional Healthcare will visit the jail weekly with other physicians on-call 24 hours a day. Nurses will also regularly visit the jail and the firm will work to obtain discounts on off-site care.
Glenn said the county faced a significant increase in health-care costs this year since local physicians weren't interested in providing medical care to offenders in 2008. The county originally received no proposals to provide medical care for 2008 but Dr. William Marcrum said he was asked to submit a proposal. Marcrum has seen offenders for the past several years in his office under contracts with the county but said he decided not to submit a proposal for 2008, but agreed to do so at Glenn's request. Marcrum offered to provide care for $3,000 per month.
Marcrum received $1,000 per month in 2007.
"As I told the commissioners, I'm happy someone is willing to take the job," Marcrum said Friday. "I look back at the past four or five years and consider what I did for the county part of my giving back to the community."
Marcrum said he worked to limit the county's health-care exposure and gave out drug samples to save money.
The county could opt to sign a multi-year agreement with Advanced Correctional Health-care, which is willing to limit annual rate increases to 5 percent if the county signs a two-year contract. However, annual rate hikes will be limited to 3 percent for an agreement covering three, four or five years.
Les Singleton, a regional account manager for the company who presented the proposal to commissioners, said the county can opt out of its contract at any time, with only a 30-day notice required.
With the opt-out clause, there is little downside to a multi-year agreement, Commissioner Jody Fortwendel said. He hoped taxpayers would recognize the savings since the county is required to maintain offenders' health while they are incarcerated.