CLARK COUNTY — Privatization of medical services for the Clark County Jail will end in November.
The decision to revert to hiring medical staff for the jail through the county rather than a private company was made by the county sheriff’s office and approved by the county council in August.
In September 2019 the sheriff’s office made the decision to sign a contract with Quality Correctional Care (QCC), a company that hires and provides medical providers in county jails in Indiana.
Clark County Chief Deputy Scottie Maples said that in his time with the county, 2019 was the first time he has seen a third-party contractor responsible for hiring medical staff in the Clark County jail.
“It wasn’t a bad relationship with Quality, it’s just something we tried for the first time...We just felt like it was something we wanted to take back and handle it ourselves,” Maples said.
Because the contract only lasted a year, this transition back to the county is not foreign to the sheriff’s office, and there should be no disruption to medical services in the jail as the change happens, Maples said.
“We have more quality control over the care we provide, whereas these would be employees of ours...which helps with better oversight as far as any kind of remedial training or any kind of correction of bad behavior,” Maples said.
Another factor that played into ending the contract was the cost of continuing it. The Clark County Council said that the cost of renewing the contract would have been an increase of $150,000.
Maples said that the cost was going up because of inmate expenses and they would rather review the costs on their own and through the county council instead of receiving the information secondhand from QCC.
“When you’re dealing with inmate medical, it’s a moving target based on who’s in jail, what their medical needs are and what kind of treatment they get,” Maples said.
“I think the cost was going to go up due to a handful of specific cases in our facility.”
The council approved salaries of medical staffing to be hired by the county back in August “due to an extraordinary emergency” as stated in the requisition for transfer of funds document.
The medical staff now employed by QCC in the jail are not guaranteed the same position under the county, but Maples said that they have the opportunity to go through the application process.
The new staff will be in place Nov. 1. One change that will be in place with this staff is increased coverage or having the doctors on site more frequently than they were before, Maples said.
The salaries for the new staff are $100,000 for the medical doctor, $60,000 per three registered nurses, $52,000 per two licensed practical nurses, $65,000 for a medical supervisor and $50,000 for a medical clerk.
The News and Tribune requested information about what the salary rates for medical staff were under QCC but had not heard back as of Friday evening. Information about the previous contract was also requested from the county auditor’s office but there also was no response as of Friday.