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Jail to get new medical provider
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Rockdale County inmates will soon be receiving medical service from a provider that has reportedly “never lost a lawsuit” after the county approved a $1.2 million, one year contract.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based Correct Care company was approved by the Board of Commissioners as the provider for inmate medical care at the Rockdale County Jail. The company serves in 43 jails across the country, including the much larger jails in DeKalb County and Richmond County.

While they were not the lowest out of the seven vendors that responded, they were the most responsive, said Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mike Kinlein. Chief Deputy Scott Freeman said the price difference between the bids from Correct Care and current provider Correct Health was slight — $1.2 million versus $1.15 million.

However, Correct Care’s RFP response “above and beyond the other respondees… focused on the client, focused on the patient and focused on how we are going to save money. We like that,” Kinlein said at the March 26 Board of Commissioners meeting.

The biggest cost-saving factor is the company’s track record with lawsuits. Correct Care never lost a lawsuit and has four attorneys on staff, said Kinlein.

“They take it personally,” he said. 

The county is reportedly facing pending litigation related to an inmate death within the jail. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations had been called in to investigate as part of standard operating procedure when an inmate dies within the jail.

Freeman declined to comment on the incident since there was pending litigation, but said the incident did not occur while Sheriff Eric Levett was in office and added that there have been no deaths since Levett took office in January.

Correct Care also follows policies and procedures recommended by the American Correctional Association, which is considered the highest standard, said Kinlein. “This provider will bring us in compliance with ACA and this will also bring us in line with electronic billing that we anticipate will be required by the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.”

The contract would provide 11,865 more hours of medical service than current provider Correct Health. The additional hours would take advantage of the jail’s six medical cells, which are being built using Special Purpose Local Option Tax funds. “We anticipate we’ll be able to do X-rays, EKGs, dialysis in the jail,” rather than sending an inmate out for these services, which can be costly, said Kinlein. 

The company would also provide an invoice “scrub team” on site, with medical professionals who would review every medical bill from offsite providers to determine if the services were appropriate.

Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said he wanted the public to know, “While we’re trying to provide the best proactive care, at the same time we're not in the business of trying to tell people the Rockdale County Jail is now the Rockdale County Hospital.”

Kinlein pointed out the jail was required to provide care for inmates under custody under the eighth amendment to the constitution. 

The contract with the current provider Correct Health had finished December 2012 and the process of bidding out the contract had started in 2012, before the change in Sheriff administrations, said Freeman.