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Napa jail health costs rise 8.5 percent

Napa jail health costs rise 8.5 percent

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A new contract will raise the cost of providing health care to Napa County’s inmates, while also adding more service, officials say.

Last Tuesday, the Napa County Board of Supervisors approved a nearly $2.3 million annual contract with California Forensic Medical Group to provide health care services to inmates in the county jail and Juvenile Hall facilities.

While the group has provided care in those facilities since 2000, the new contract is the result of a competitive bidding process conducted by county staff in April, said Liz Habkirk, one of the county’s senior analysts.

Two proposals were submitted in response to the county’s invitation for bids, and the county’s current correctional health provider was selected to continue its service.

The new agreement will see the county paying California Forensic Medical Group roughly $1.5 million for the remainder of the current fiscal year and $2.3 million in subsequent years. 

The agreement is scheduled to run through 2014, though the county Board of Supervisors will have the option to approve two one-year extensions, Habkirk said.

Together, the new amounts equal roughly an 8.5 percent cost increase, though the new agreement includes several additions to help increase the level of care in county facilities.

The increase is being borne by the county’s General Fund Contingency account, which consists of carryover funds from previous fiscal years.

Under the new contract, clerical hours associated with both facilities will increase from 20 hours to 40 hours, while an additional 16 hours will be staffed by a licensed nurse in the county jail, Habkirk said.

The added hours will allow for weekend coverage, which wasn’t offered under previous agreements.

Currently providing corrections health services to 25 counties in California, the California Forensic Medical Group has been providing care in Napa County’s facilities for the past 11 years.

The new agreement was approved by a 4-0 vote of the Board of Supervisors with no discussion. Supervisor Mark Luce was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.

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