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County renews jail contract for health care

COVINGTON - County commissioners recently agreed to renew a contract for health care services at the Newton County Detention Center with NaphCare Inc., at an annual cost of more than $1.4 million.

NaphCare, based in Birmingham, Ala., has been the health care provider at the jail since 2003.

Commissioners approved a one-year contract at their June 16 meeting totaling $1,431,714.48, with payment to be made in monthly installments of $119,309.54.

The fee assumes an average daily population at the jail of 650 inmates or less. If the population exceeds 650 inmates, the county will be charged $1.27 per additional inmate per day.

Under the contract, NaphCare is liable for $100,000 in risk pool services, or off-site health care such as physicians visits, ambulance rides and procedures.

According to NaphCare Vice President Brad Cain, that amount is usually exceeded each year.

From July 1, 2008, through May 31, 2009, there was a total of $245,000 in off-site charges, Cain said.

NaphCare negotiated that down from an initial $696,000 in charges, he said.

Health providers are on hand at the detention center 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Sheriff Ezell Brown said about 75 inmates are treated daily, and 2,170 are treated monthly.

"We're more than satisfied with NaphCare and the service they provide," Brown said, adding that NaphCare representatives are quick to address any complaints.

In other news, the board also approved repairs to the Mansfield Community Center.

The county owns the building, but it is managed by a group of citizens who use rental fees to pay for maintenance and landscaping, according to Commissioner Mort Ewing.

Therefore, the roof will be replaced at no cost to the county, he said.

Newton County resident Wayne Smith was the low bidder to install a 25-year roof at a cost not to exceed $8,421.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.