County commissioners unanimously approved a one year contract for jail inmate healthcare services with Phoebe Health Systems.
Phoebe's original bid was for $1.4 million dollars with the option of four one-year renewals. When commissioners asked Phoebe officials to reduce costs, they came up with a new plan. Both parties agreed to extend the contract by two years and lower the price to $700,000, saving the county more than half a million dollars.
In addition to help saving money officials say the deal between Phoebe and the jail will actually help make healthcare better for the inmates. "After they leave the jail facility, if they get something medical or mental healthcare it'll likely be with a Phoebe provider. So what this does is it helps create continuity of care that we've never had before. So we are sure that their total healthcare picture is going to increase" sys Col. John Ostrander, Director of the Dougherty County Jail.
County Commission Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard explains that the commission is concerned with reducing health care costs and making sure they meet all responsibilities and obligations. The massive savings also went directly to county employees. "Fortunately the employees went form taking a 4.6% pay cut to a 2% pay cut. We're not happy with that, but under these circumstances we're pleased to be able to reduce it to a lower margin through the help of Phoebe" says Sinyard.