The Marshall County Council entertained a request from Sheriff Tom Chamberlin to advertise for an additional appropriation for inmate health care.
In October 2013, the county approved Chamberlin to enter into a contract with Quality Correctional Care and while Chamberlin said the services they have provided are excellent, more money needs to be appropriated for their services.
“During the budget hearings, I had budgeted for prisoner medical care $107,000,” explained Sheriff Chamberlin. “We signed a contract with Quality Correctional Care – their company takes care of all of our medical, dentistry and all of our pharmaceutical services and then we also picked them up for mental health in 2014. Their monthly cost is $12,166.”
He now has a balance of $41,000 in the 2014 budget for medical care. Chamberlin said he would be short three months with the contract. He asked the county council members for an additional $50,000 to take that budget to the end of the year.
He noted that the inmate population at the time of the contract was 170 a day and now the population is 122 a day. That could make a difference when the contract is re-negotiated by Oct. 1. The contract is based on the per-inmate number at the time of the contract. Chamberlin informed the council that the money for the contract will be budgeted in the 2015 budget.
Chamberlin hopes that some outstanding medical bills will soon be paid off that are staggering in prior to Quality Correctional Care’s presence.
“We are still paying some of the 2013 medical expenses out of our 2014 budget. We don’t anticipate much more than $5,300 that we’ve already spent for 2013 medical expenses, but we don’t know. I paid a bill that was two years old that they never sent to us. They were trying to collect from the individual that received that service and with no collection they came back on us.”
One positive note Chamberlin told the council members was Quality Correctional Care does all needed visits on site. That has cut down on transport cost, overtime, and security worries. Last year, 28 inmates were transported to other facilities, such as the hospital, compared to 2.75 inmates this year.
The council approved Sheriff Chamberlin’s request to advertise for an additional appropriation of $50,000. That money will be coming from the certified shares line item in the budget and not any additional taxpayer funds.