New health care provider selected for county jails

San Juan Regional Medical Center currently provides medical services to the adult and juvenile detention centers and the alternative sentencing facilities

Joshua Kellogg
jkellogg@daily-times.com
The San Juan County Adult Detention Center in Farmington as seen in April 2015.
  • Correct Care Solutions will provide medical and mental health services at an estimated annual cost of $4.48 million
  • San Juan Regional's current contract for medical services is about $2.1 million a year.
  • The hospital's proposed contract for medical and mental health services was about $7.7 million annually.

FARMINGTON — A new company has been selected to provide inmate medical care at San Juan County detention facilities, taking over a contract currently held by San Juan Regional Medical Center.

San Juan County commissioners during Tuesday's meeting approved pursuing contract negotiations with Correct Care Solutions to provide medical services for the adult and juvenile detention centers and the alternative sentencing facilities.

The Nashville, Tenn., company was also selected to provide mental health services for the San Juan County Adult Detention Center, County Operations Officer Mike Stark said.

A spokesman for Correct Care Solutions said the company is honored to have been selected and is looking forward to working alongside county officials to ensure patient care at the facilities meets a high standard.

The estimated annual contract for Correct Care Solutions is about $4.48 million, according to county documents.

San Juan Regional Medical Center's current contract to provide medical services for the three detention centers is about $2.1 million annually, Stark said. Presbyterian Medical Services is currently contracted to provide mental health services to the adult detention center at a cost of about $848,000 annually. Those contracts are set to end on June 30 with Correct Care taking over on July 1.

San Juan Regional Medical Center's current contract to provide medical services for the adult and juvenile detention centers and the alternative sentencing facilities is about $2.1 million annually.

A proposal submitted by San Juan Regional to provide medical services for the three detention centers and mental health services at the adult detention center was about $7.7 million, according to Stark.

The hospital has been providing medical services for the detention centers since February 2014.

Jeff Bourgeois, San Juan Regional President and CEO, said in an emailed statement that the hospital supports the county's decision to award the contract to Correct Care Solutions and will work to ensure a smooth transition.

The three county commissioners, Jack Fortner, John Beckstead and James Crowley, who attended the meeting all voted in favor of the contract. They also expressed their frustration about the increased cost.

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Fortner, county commission chairman, said in a phone interview today that it was unfortunate that health care costs keep increasing.

He also said he believes the proposal from San Juan Regional was higher because of increases to insurance premiums following recent lawsuits filed against the adult detention center and the hospital claiming injury and death from substandard or denied medical care.

Lawsuits claim the jail was negligent in providing medical care, which led to the deaths of three inmates in early 2015.

A lawsuit filed in April 2015 by 18 inmates accused the jail and healthcare providers of denying basic medical care, causing injury and suffering.

Two lawsuits filed by the relatives of inmates who died while incarcerated have been settled.

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Fortner said the medical center is now providing high quality health care to the detention centers and hopes Correct Care Solutions will maintain it.

Presbyterian Medical Services will continue to provide mental health services to the alternative sentencing facilities.

The county will also continue to contract with a doctor with the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department for mental health services at the juvenile detention center.

Reporter Hannah Grover contributed to this story.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.