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Lowering the cost of inmate care

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Updated: 2/28/2014 9:24 am
PONTOTOC COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) — Efficient and cost effective, that’s the approach Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask is taking when it comes to evaluating options for lowering medical cost.

“Well most of the time no one really gets sick until at night, then you have to go to the E.R. and that’s more than actually going to a clinic cause if you go to the clinic you get just an office visit. You go to the E.R. and it costs a lot more,” said Sheriff Mask.

Last year, Mask says the department spent close to $35,000 on hospital visits and X-rays, $10,000 on clinic visits, about $9,000 on dental and close to $7,000 on medication.

"It totaled up to close to $70,000," said Sheriff Mask.

Mask says that number surpassed the department’s medical budget which prompted him to consider other cost effective options. Currently, the Pontotoc County sheriff’s department has a part time nurse on staff.

"She will come and give out the medication and take vital signs and things like that and tell us if they actually need to go to a clinic and or the E.R.," said Sheriff Mask.

The current system has worked well thus far, but Sheriff Mask says he plans on weighing every option before making a final decision, which includes researching what surrounding counties are doing before making a final decision. The ultimate goal is to provide good care for inmates and save the county money.
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