MANSFIELD -- Richland County commissioners on Thursday approved a one-year contract renewal for the company providing medical services to inmates at the county jail at an yearly cost of $479,504.
Advanced Correctional Healthcare Inc. has provided medical staffing for the past several years inside the jail, which had 221 prisoners on Thursday morning.
"They are the medical provider for our jail," Commissioner Tony Vero said during a meeting with Richland County Sheriff's Capt. Chris Blunk, the jail administrator, and Rachel Troyer, the county's central services coordinator.
The deal with Advanced Correctional is the third in a series of three, one-year contracts that allow the company to increase its fees annually based on the Consumer Price Index.
The cost for the initial year of the current deal was $430,299, which increased to $459,773 last year. The third year of the deal reflects an overall increase of about 11 percent over the first.
According to the company website, "Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc. (ACH) is the largest county health care provider to just jails in the United States, operating health care teams and customized programs in a variety of correctional settings. We lead the industry in providing a higher standard of medical care, mental health care, and business services for an underserved population."
The company provides an on-call physician 24/7, a full-time registered nurse, three full-time LPNs and part-time LPNs. In its budget request for 2021, the sheriff's department has asked for an additional nurse to provide overnight coverage from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.
The contract will again be up for bid next year, according to Troyer.
Vero asked Blunk if there were better, less-costly options for the service.
"I can't tell you what other companies may or may not offer at this point," Blunk said. "Anytime you would make a switch in providers, there will be bumps in the road.
"I can tell you our current provider has done an outstanding job of meeting our medical standards," Blunk said, noting the jail's medical services have routinely passed state jail inspections under Advantage Correctional's care.