Nodaway County Sheriff Randy Strong asked Nodaway County Commissioners to approve contracting for a jailhouse healthcare program during their meeting January 11.
The commissioners heard from Art Rose, Advanced Correctional Healthcare representative. The family-owned company based in Peoria, IL, bid the job for $36,000 per year to be paid in monthly installments. This number was based on a regular 25 inmate population. The price could fluctuate depending on the number of inmates in the facility. The bills are reviewed every 90 days and adjustments made.
Advanced Correctional Healthcare currently services 51 counties in Missouri including Buchanan County, which has contracted with the company for 13 years. Also, the company serves counties in other states.
The company provides its own doctors and LPNs who would personally visit the Nodaway County Jail. The doctor would visit once every three weeks to see patients, assess their needs, manage their medications and make sure inmates get needed medical care.
The LPN would provide six hours of care each week. The LPN’s duties would include making sure the doctor’s orders are being carried out, managing medications, filling out paperwork and basic care.
Advanced Correctional Healthcare staffs its own doctors who are on call 24/7 to answer any questions a jailer might have. Entering into a contract with a healthcare provider would remove responsibility and liability from an officer and place it on qualified doctors and nurses.
The company provides training for officers on proper medication administration and how to take vital signs. During training, officers learn how to recognize fake symptoms, how to deal with withdrawal symptoms and a variety of other issues. Under Advanced Correctional Healthcare, a jailer’s duties include calling the on-call doctor, reporting the patient’s vital signs and following the doctor’s orders.
Most treatments can be performed on-site by the nurse or the doctor resulting in a decrease of hospital visits. By not traveling off-site, risk factors stay lower, safety increases and the county can utilize its officers for other duties other than accompanying an inmate to the hospital.
The company provides secondary services for an additional charge including inmate meals and a discounted supply ordering program.
The Commissioners will discuss contracting the services during their budget meeting.