County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.
Press Release

Milwaukee County to Move Inmate Healthcare In-house by 2021

Short-term Contract Provides a Bridge to In-house Provision of Healthcare at the Jail and House of Corrections

By - Feb 1st, 2019 02:57 pm

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee County will start providing inmate medical services in April of 2021, after a two-year contract with a temporary provider, recommended for approval today by the Finance and Audit Committee (7-0), expires.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that people in the custody of Milwaukee County receive quality medical care. The best way to provide quality care, proper oversight, and accountability is to bring the provision of medical services at the Jail and House of Corrections in-house,” said County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr.

The Finance and Audit Committee rejected options for a 5-year contract and a one-year agreement with a new vendor, settling on a two-year, $39 million contract with Wellpath, LLC.

The Committee also recommended approval of a $373,000 contract with an independent, third-party medical monitor to provide oversite of the provision of care through Wellpath.

The Finance and Audit Committee adopted several amendments offered by Chairman Lipscomb, including a reaffirmation that Milwaukee County’s longstanding policy is to provide medical services internally, rather than contract with an outside vendor, and $300,000 to ensure adequate funds are available for the planning necessary to transition to in-house provision of medical care.

In 2013, a judge ordered Milwaukee County to contract with Armor Correctional Health Services over the objection of the Board of Supervisors, but supported by then Sheriff Clarke and the Abele Administration.

Armor’s annual contract had previously been extended through April 1, 2019.

Day-to-day oversight of the inmate healthcare contract remains under the Superintendent of the House of Corrections.

Mentioned in This Press Release

One thought on “Milwaukee County to Move Inmate Healthcare In-house by 2021”

  1. Paul Mozina says:

    Thank you Chairman Lipscomb for your strong leadership championing the provision of quality inmate medical services at the County Jail and House of Correction by County employees rather than for-profit entities like Wellpath/Correct Care Solutions. Sustainably attaining this complex goal will be challenging.

    Reducing the number of people incarcerated in the County Jail and the HOC is a key ingredient to providing quality health care, and the County is making progress in this area thanks to the efforts of the Community Justice Council, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

    Analogous to the Fair Deal for Milwaukee County Workgroup, which is focused on the corporate entity, we need a Fair Deal for the People of Milwaukee that ends the current regime of mass incarceration. The County has assumed a long view in recognizing the need to change State Law to enable the return of Milwaukee County’s Fair Share of State Revenue. In like manner, Milwaukee County should do a deep dive into its costs, across all departments, to implement the State and Federal government’s mandate to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.

    The premise of the War on Drugs is that the government has a legitimate “right” to control what the people inoffensively manufacture, distribute, possess or consume. How this inherent natural right of the people was usurped by a government whose powers supposedly originate from the people—none of whom have this authority to delegate it—is never explained.

    The violence, crime, disease and abuse caused by the government’s addiction to being the masters of the bodies of the governed is at the root of mass incarceration. The County and Municipalities under its jurisdiction need to take the long view, like the Fair Deal for Milwaukee County Workgroup is doing, and work to change laws like the Controlled Substances Act that mandate them to be the enforcement arm of a failed, unjust and unprincipled attack on the life, liberty and property of the people.

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