Medical care plan for jail inmates sparks discussion

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Local News

February 13, 2019 - 10:52 AM

Allen County Sheriff Bryan Murphy urged county commissioners to consider hiring Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc., a privately-owned company that specializes in overseeing and delivering medical care to inmates at correctional facilities.

Not only would the service promise less expensive, more efficient care for the inmate population, argued Murphy, it would also provide an extra layer of liability protection should an inmate sue the county claiming inadequate or injurious medical care. “[As a sheriff],” explained Murphy, “there are two big things you get sued on: the jail and civil process. And with the jail, 90 percent of your suits come due to medical issues.”

ACH allows its clients to decide on the program of care that best fits the particular correctional facility. To this end, Murphy proposes that the county opt for a registered nurse to work in the jail three days a week, four hours per day. The company would also train correctional staff to take blood pressure, chart a patient’s progress, and administer other routine health maintenance tasks. A qualified doctor or physician’s assistant would visit the jail every other week, and licensed physicians would be available by phone 24/7. Plus, ACH will provide all the medically-indicated pharmaceuticals as part of the program. Finally, said Murphy, ACH keeps a retinue of attorneys on staff should an inmate raise a legal complaint regarding his or her treatment. 

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