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SMH, County enter inmate medical agreement

Stephens County Commissioners voted to enter into a new inmate healthcare service contract with Stephens Memorial Hospital during last Monday’s meeting. The agreement would not only continue to provide mandated medical services to incarcerated inmates, but also shift funds, which were being paid to an outside entity, to a local provider.

The new agreement will begin Jan. 1, 2022. According to the health services agreement, SMH will provide medical, basic dental and basic mental health services to inmates who are in official custody of the jail.

“It’s virtually exactly what we have now, there’s a little bit more that we’re going to receive as far as the county and services provided by Stephens Memorial (Hospital). But, like I explained to the court last time, I think there’s going to be a huge savings on the tailend, but that’s unknown until we get there,” Stephens County Sheriff Kevin Roach said. “But, it’s kind of a win-win for the county, that’s a large amount of money we’re spending, it keeps it here local and also helps our hospital district. (The hospital) said they’re not really making any profit on this, but obviously it’s guaranteeing at least one job, if not more, by using them.”

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