Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Franklin County coughs up 46K for inmate medical expenses with more bills to come

                County commissioners agreed this week to pay a little over 46 thousand dollars to help cover inmate medical expenses at the Franklin county jail.

The sheriff’s department told county commissioners this week that it has already spent more than 76 thousand dollars over what it has budgeted this year and it can’t cover any more.

Sheriff’s representative Ginger Creamer said the department has spent over 200 thousand dollars on inmate medical so far this year, though some of that has been reimbursed by insurance.

The sheriff had budgeted only about 100 thousand total for inmate medical.

From here on out, inmate medical bills will likely go directly to the county to be paid.

The issue of inmate medical expenses is one the county commission and many local sheriffs have discussed in the past – it’s a difficult expense to budget for because the sheriff never knows in advance how much he’ll need.

Franklin County is considering a plan to allow Weems Memorial Hospital to take over inmate medical services at the county jail which would hopefully cut costs.

Weems said that by utilizing hospital services and personnel, they could bring the annual costs below 200 thousand dollars a year, possible even below 150 thousand dollars.

The plan will be considered during this week’s budget workshops.