The Ocean County Jail signed a new contract with Conmed Healthcare Management to provide medical care for its inmates.
Ocean County Administrator Carl W. Block said the previous contract will expire June 30.
The new contract with Conmed will begin July 1 for a three-year term with two optional one-year renewals, according to a news release.
During the first three years of the contract, Conmed projects revenues of about $10 million. If the contract is renewed for two additional years, Conmed expects earnings of $3.5 million in the fourth year and $3.6 million in the fifth year.
Block said the revenues Conmed is projecting in a recent news release are gross earnings.
Block said 12 companies expressed interest in providing health care management at the jail, eight companies participated in a mandatory walk-through of the jail and four provided proposals to the county.
The county hired a consultant to review the proposals, Block said.
“Out of the four who submitted proposals, Conmed was rated number one and they were the lowest dollar amount that came in in sealed bids,” Block said.
“We wanted to make sure we got the best price and we developed a competitive proposal process. Comed’s proposal was the lower inflationary increase and less of an increase over a five-year period than the previous contract,” he said.
The contract’s medical services for inmates includes medical, dental, 24-hour clinical, mental health, administrative staffing, pharmacy, lab and x-ray, management of emergency room admissions, hospital and other out-of-facility care.
“This is mandated care by the state. This is just fair adequate care that is humane and good for the inmate, but we're not providing any Cadillac-care here. We're doing what we have to do here and no more,” Block said.
The Ocean County Jail currently detains between 500 to 550 inmates and the facility is being licensed to increase that number to 684 inmates or more, Block said.
Block said as part of the jail expansion, the medical unit will be located in the newly built section of the jail. The medical unit was expanded to infirmary size to decrease the amount of times inmates are transferred out of the jail for medical reasons.
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