Adair County Sheriff wants help from county to pay for inmate medical bills

The Adair County Sheriff's Office is asking the Adair County Commissioners for funds out of the Countryside Account again.

During a meeting Wednesday, the Sheriff's Office asked the Adair County Commissioners for $9,400.70 to pay for outstanding inmate healthcare bills. The bills date back to 2010 and 2011, when inmates from the Adair County Detention Center received medical attention outside of the jail.

"Healthcare costs in a correctional can't determine the cost to the individual if they have a medical emergency. You have to take care of his needs. So, therefore you see a fluctuation at times depending on the medical issue that he faces on an individual basis that you could have unforeseen medical costs," said Adair County Sheriff Robert Hardwick.

Correctional Healthcare Companies is contracted by the Adair County Sheriff's Office to handle the billing when inmates receive outside medical attention.

"The outstanding bills, we were not receiving them in a timely manner," said Nanette Good, a contract manager for Correctional Healthcare Companies. "We resolved that issue and the bills were paid by the company and now the Sheriff's department has an outstanding bill with us."

"By no means is this a fault of our insurance provider that provides medical healthcare coverage to the Adair County Sheriff's Office," said Adair County Sheriff Robert Hardwick. "We're not delinquent on our payment. In that aspect, we pay things as they come in. If we don't receive the bill, then we can't pay it until we receive the bill."

During budget hearings in Jan., the Sheriff's Office asked for about $45,000 from the Countryside Account to be used for indigent inmate healthcare costs.

The Adair County Commissioners denied that request and took the funds out of the Law Enforcement Sales Tax fund. The Commissioners said they will make a decision on the latest request as early as Monday, April 9.