Medical contract for jail eyed by Fulton?County

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department is hoping to enter into a new two-year, $167,000 contract with an Amsterdam firm that would provide medical services at the county jail.

Sheriff Thomas Lorey on Monday gained approval from the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee accepting a bid from Eastern Medical Support LLC for the jail medical services. The county would pay the firm – the jail’s medical vendor since 2012 – $81,640 in 2014 and $85,722 in 2015. The new two-year contract includes an option of two one-year extensions.

The Finance Committee will review the proposal Thursday, and it is scheduled to come before the full board Oct. 14.

County tax dollars pay the entire amount of medical services for inmates at the county jail. County Administrative Officer Jon Stead said more tax money may be needed in future years with the new federal Affordable Care Act going into effect.

“You’ll start to see [the cost for] everything inching up,” Stead said.

The county solicited requests for proposals for correctional facility medical services and Eastern Medical Support was the sole proposal received, Lorey said.

Capt. David Curtis, jail administrator, told the committee that Eastern Medical Support works “very well” with the county’s pharmacy program.

“They’ve saved us money in the long run,” Curtis said.

Lorey said the company will provide the jail a medical director that is a state-licensed medical doctor to oversee administration of the facility’s medical unit. He said the firm also will review current policies and procedures and medical protocols to ensure compliance with current medical standards and the state Commission of Corrections.

Eastern Medical Support will provide a nurse practitioner, who will be overseen by the medical director. The nurse practitioner will visit the jail a minimum of two days a week with a maximum of 12 hours for sick calls and supervise the county nursing staff.

Other services to be provide by the firm include: authorizing inmate hospitalizations, developing and monitoring inmate chronic care plans, coordinating response to any infectious disease incidents, assisting in inmate discharge planning; accessibility 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and continual medical coverage without interruptions during staff vacations.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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