Armstrong County OKs inmate medical costs program
By Mitch Fryer
Published: Friday, Jan. 6, 2012
KITTANNING — Two of the county's public service departments — the Armstrong County Jail and the Armstrong County Health Center — are looking at ways to keep rising medical costs down to start the new year.
The Armstrong County Commissioners on Thursday approved a contract for a medical costs program for the jail; and they tabled bids for pharmacy services for the health center.
The commissioners approved participation in the Prison Inmate Medical Cost Containment Program. The program, which manages the cost of inmate health care for county jails, is sponsored by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP).
"We're looking to realize a nice savings," said Warden Dave Hogue.
The jail will put $10,000 in escrow for administrators of the program to negotiate prices for medical and pharmaceutical care. Inmates are responsible for co-payments.
"The program reduces administration fees," said Commissioner Rich Fink, who serves as president of the county's prison board.
Four pharmacies bid to provide pharmacy service to the health center.
Mission Pharmacy of Kittanning, which has been the provider for the past seven years, bid along with Diamond Pharmacy of Indiana, Leechburg Pharmacy and ICP Care Pharmacies of Sharpsville.
"We decided to participate in the county's bid process to allow us to review our service," said Health Center Administrator David Mansour.
He said the center is looking at criteria that includes the electronic system, experience, price information and the overall scope of service.
The bid amount from each pharmacy was not announced as bids were opened at the public meeting. Mansour explained that officials needed to consider all aspects of the bid rather than just the price.
"We will take a lot of time to look at the bids and make recommendations at the next public meeting," Mansour said.
In other county business, the commissioners:
• Approved renewing an agreement with Veronica Beere for dietary services for the health center. The contract raises the hourly rate of payment from $18 to $20.
"Our budget can accommodate this," said Mansour.
• Approved a contract with Jason Lewis as the jail's solicitor. Lewis replaces Joe Caruso who resigned in November.
• Approved allocating a portion of the county's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to Ford City to help low to moderate income homeowners with the cost of the lateral tie-in to the Ford City Borough Municipal Sewage Disposal Authority's sanitary sewer separation project's new sewer lines. The funds are in addition to money approved last year for lateral connections. The CDBG program provides annual federal grants for local infrastructure improvements in needy communities.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.