Medical contracts may change in jails

Company asking for increase in fees

         

Brisolara

BILOXI

Harrison County supervisors will consider a request Monday to increase fees for medical services at the jail and the Youth Detention Center by nearly $300,000 a year.

Health Assurance LLC said more medical services are needed at both facilities.

At the Youth Detention Center it would cost nearly $20,000 more per year for medical staff to come in on weekends and give the youth their medicine. Currently guards are giving out medication on the weekends.

At the Harrison County jail, though, the cost would be substantially more to implement services Health Assurance representatives said the U.S. Justice Department wants. They include having a psychiatrist on site for eight hours a week instead of the current four and having a master’s-level social worker rather than one with a bachelor’s degree.

These changes would cost the county an extra $267,000 per year.

Sheriff Melvin Brisolara suggested he and county officials review the contracts before agreeing to the increases.

He said he thought the Justice Department just wanted the social worker with a higher degree.

“I don’t think it should cost $267,000 a year, but I want to take a look at it,” he said. “We want to make sure there are no duplication of services.”

By MELISSA M. SCALLAN – mmscallan@sunherald.com
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