CLEVELAND, Tenn. — An Alabama company is set to begin providing inmate medical care at the Bradley County Jail on July 1.
The Bradley County Commission’s Law Enforcement Committee is scheduled to meet today before the regular 10 a.m. session to review the contract language.
The company, Quality Correctional Health Care, was unanimously picked on June 1 to become the new jail medical services provider.
“We believe we will be able to run an efficient medical services operation that will save taxpayer dollars in today’s health care environment,” said Dr. Johnny Bates, CEO of the Birmingham-based company.
“We bring the experience of knowing how to save money, how to find health care discounts whenever possible, 24/7 medical care, how to care for mentally challenged inmates and how to manage jail facilities,” he said.
The search took several months, including company interviews and a tour of the jail’s medical facilities with bidding contractors, said Commissioner Howard Thompson, chairman of the commission’s Law Enforcement Committee.
One of several major concerns, Mr. Thompson said, was the 24/7 care offered by the bidders.
Commissioners, and the county attorney, expressed concerns during the search for a provider. They worried that while a 16-hour-a-day service would be cheaper, it would leave the county and its officers at risk of liability at night, when officers might have to decide if an inmate needs to go to the hospital.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...