Medical expenses for Riley County Jail inmates have gone up 1,667.36% compared to this time last year in large part because of care for one inmate.
County clerk Rich Vargo and commissioners on Monday discussed Riley County Jail inmate medical expenses while examining expenditure and year-to-date budget reports.
The total inmate medical cost at this point is $36,390, which Vargo said is higher than the county has spent in the past. At the same point last year, the county had only spent $2,059.
The big expenses this year came in July for one inmate with “extensive medical issues,” officials said. The county spent $27,911 on hospital expenses in July, although officials didn’t say whether the one inmate accounted for all of the expenses or the nature of the inmate’s condition.
There is a nurse on-site for 40 hours a week, and a doctor who visits the jail every two weeks to examine inmates.
The jail uses Advanced Correctional Healthcare, a contracted medical provider, said Capt. Derek Woods, interim jail commander for the Riley County Police Department. The inmates do not have insurance and are not responsible for medical costs, said Woods.
The county pays for all medical treatments and procedures for incarcerated people.
The county has already used up a pool of $20,000 for those medical expenses.
Vargo said the county has additional money within its police department fund to pay the increased expenses.
In other action Monday, commissioners:
• Recognized Cindy Volanti, human resource manager, for her recent appointment by Gov. Laura Kelly to the Workers Compensation and Employment Security Boards Nominating Committee.
Volanti said she is excited for the opportunity.
“Representing Riley County is quite the honor,” Volanti told the commission.
• Listened to Tami Robison, county budget and finance officer, discuss county credit card policies. The updated card policy, which the commission approved Monday, states if an employee has a county-issued card, they are encouraged to use it instead of a personal card when making county purchases.
The county does not have to pay sales tax on its purchases.
When an employee uses a personal card, the county will no longer reimburse sales tax. However, if an employee does not have a county-issued card and uses his or her own card for county purchases, he or she will be reimbursed the sales tax, Robison said.
Robison said the sales tax reimbursement measure is one of the incentives of using a county card. This update was a small modification, Robison said, but was based on the county auditor’s recommendation.
• Approved sending bids for a county tractor to county staff for reviewing.
The bids came from KanEquip, Inc. and Prairieland Partners — John Deere, both of Wamego. KanEquip offered three bids in the amount of $83,775, $71,010.15 and $79,950. Prairieland Partners also offered three bids: $99,992.83, $87,744.48 and $71,479,70. Each company presented bids for different tractor models.
• Listened to Cheryl Collins, director of the Riley County Historical Museum, report that the museum is working on creating a policy to manage the museum’s digital collection, which houses about 27,000 photographs.
The museum hopes to have a policy developed by the end of this year.
• Recognized September as a National Preparedness Month, reminding residents to have an emergency kit and plan prepared for natural disasters.