County works out lower pricing for inmate health care

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Chilton County Commission approved unanimously on an agreement with St. Vincent’s Chilton to help reduce the pricing associated with inmate health care during its March 12 meeting.

Negotiating had been an ongoing process since September 2017. Deeply involved in the talks were commissioner Joseph Parnell, Sheriff John Shearon, Terri Connell with Millennium Risk Managers and Shanon Hamilton, director of clinical services at St. Vincent’s Chilton.

“This was not done overnight,” Connell said.

According to Connell, Parnell helped oversee the initiative on behalf of the commission after seeing that there was a rise in the outside medical care costs that the Sheriff’s Office was paying.

That is when Parnell came to MRM and Connell and asked if there was a way that they could help.

“It came full circle last night [March 12 meeting],” Connell said.

The goal for MRM was to negotiate a fair price. It was able to re-price the bills to save roughly $100,000, which is equivalent to an 80 percent reduction of what the Sheriff’s Office was previously paying.

The agreement only factors the cost of medical procedures that are performed on inmates outside of jail.

An example would be if an inmate had to go to see a specialist or receive treatment that could not be offered from the confines of the county jail.

According to Connell, the inmate health care will remain as it was before. The only difference will be the end cost.

“You’re getting the same quality care [at a lower rate],” Connell said.