Washington County is taking steps towards outsourcing medical services at the Washington County Jail to a private company.
On Tuesday, county commissioners approved advertising for requests for qualifications (RFQ) for jail medical services. Jail Captain Eric Hensley said privatized medical care has been something he has pushed for since joining the Sheriff’s Office in January 2019, and believes it can help protect the county from legal liability.
Hensley on Tuesday alluded to the recent visits that commissioners have made to jail facilities that utilize privatized medical care. Today (Thursday), according to Commissioner Candice Bullock, members of the court visited the Burnet County Jail.
The court in March 2020 made the decision to create a committee to see how other counties handle their jail medical services and to look at private companies that perform them. Later that month, commissioners approved former Jail Medical Director Dr. Stuart Yoffe to serve again on an interim basis.
This came after the previous medical director, Dr. Robert Stark, was banned from the jail by Sheriff Otto Hanak, which led to inmates having to be either be treated by Washington County EMS at the jail or transported to the emergency room at Baylor Scott and White in Brenham.
A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held June 14th at 10 a.m. at the Washington County Jail. The deadline for contractors to submit questions is June 16th. RFQ submissions are due by June 21st at 9 a.m., and commissioners will consider awarding a contract on June 22nd. If a contract is awarded, there is a tentative transition and services start date of July 14th.