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Medical care costs for jail inmates up by $68,000


by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

The cost to provide medical services for inmates in the Platte County Jail is going up by $68,000 in 2018.

Platte County Commissioners on Monday approved a contract with Advanced Correctional Healthcare (ACH) for the purpose of providing inmate medical services in 2018 at a cost of $347,916.

The contract is for one year, “with extensions,” said Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen. Future years of the deal will feature a percentage increase in cost, he said. The previous multi-year contract had around a one percent or 1.5 percent annual increase built in, he said.

The $347,916 is $68,000 more than the county paid last year, he said. But he added this year’s contract will cover things like HIV medicines, “which are expensive.” And ACH will provide dental triage screenings for inmates for the purpose of identifying serious dental needs. Up to $17,000 in “pool” money will pay for any costs associated with dental care. Any of the $17,000 not spent this year carries over into the next year, the sheriff said.

The contract includes an LPN, RN and a doctor that comes in, the sheriff said.
Owen said medical costs for inmates in the jail that are being held by the county for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or for the City of Kansas City and other agencies are the responsibility of those agencies.