You Paid For It: New healthcare company for Charleston County inmates

Updated: Jul. 6, 2020 at 6:31 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County jail is working with a new health care company to treat sick inmates.

In this tweet, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office applauded a new healthcare partnership with WellPath. The agency said, “This comes at a critical time as we continue efforts to stop the spread of #Covid19.”

In its request for bids for this service, the county said that providing the inmate population with competent, professional medical care and treatment within the narrow budget is a challenge, especially with inmates who have chronic illness, mental health problems, aging-related illness and HIV infections.

The contract with WellPath, provided to us by Charleston County, is for $6.2 million over the next year.

That’s $13.22 per inmate per day. The company is responsible for medical, pharmaceutical, dental and mental health care for 1,300 inmates on average in the county.

The company's website says it serves 300,000 patients in 36 states.

Before a merger, WellPath was called "Correct Care Solutions." CCS was the subject of this CNN investigation last year in which a "review of lawsuits filed between 2014 and 2018 found that CCS has been accused of contributing to more than 70 deaths."

The company addresses it on its website saying anyone can file a lawsuit so that's not a good measure of their quality of care.

Only 7% of lawsuits resulted in any payment, they said.

The WellPath contract with Charleston County is for one year and may be renewed annually for up to 5 years.

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