• Last modified 1958 days ago (Feb. 13, 2019)


Inmate care more costly in January

Staff writer

A $4,368.45 bill to the county from a medical billing company contracted by the jail was higher than usual in January.

“Normally we’re not that high,” sheriff Rob Craft said of last month’s bill.

The bill reflects both expenses for inmate medical care and a per-claim processing fee.

The company, Direct Benefit Solutions, processes claims for inmate medical expenses, ensuring the jail pays at Medicare rates, sends a monthly bill to the county, and pays the medical provider.

“They are our billing agents and they work with our health care providers,” Craft said. “We are mandated to provide medical coverage for all inmates and if the doctor writes a prescription, we have to provide it.”

Because the county pays a fee for each claim handled through Direct Benefit Solutions, not every bill is sent to them for processing, Craft said. For instance, if a prescription has a low price to begin with, Direct Benefit Solutions’ fee would likely increase the final price.

“Some prescriptions we pay direct because the savings are not enough to make it worth it,” Craft said.

Craft said using the company, one of several available in the state, saves money spent on medical care.

Kansas legislators passed a bill in 2006 that jails pay Medicare rates for inmate medical services.

Kansas Sheriffs Association last month told sheriffs that using a billing service saved jails across the state more than $6 million in 2018.

Last modified Feb. 13, 2019