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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - September 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

Houston County Acts To Reduce Cost of Inmate Medical Care

Houston County Courier -  September 2009

The increasing cost of inmate medical care was a topic of discussion at the Tuesday, Sept. 22 meeting of the Houston County Commissioners Court. 
In order to hold down the cost, commissioners approved a resolution stating that the county will begin paying Medicaid rates for inmate medical care.
Houston County Auditor Melissa Mosley reported that she had recently sent medical bills the county had received to be analyzed by Indigent Healthcare Solutions (IHS), a company which processes bills for other counties and codes them to apply Medicaid rates. 
When Medicaid rates were applied, the bills were reduced from $43,000 to $16,000.
In addition to the resolution, commissioners also approved a contract with IHS to provide data processing services. 
The cost of this service will be $1,000 per month.  Should the county find a more cost effective method of processing the bills, the contract may be cancelled with 30 days notice.
A leaky roof at the courthouse was another problem addressed by commissioners in its semi-monthly session. 
“The roof on the courthouse has needed replacing for some time,” explained Judge Hunt. 
“We have put this off because we have a pending application with the Texas Historical Commission to totally renovate the courthouse and unfortunately, if we replace the roof, our grant application will be penalized.”
The county consulted James Lucas of Lucas Roofing of Crockett, who recommended substantial repairs to the north section of the roof at an estimated cost of $9,890. 
Precinct 4 Commissioner Kennon Kellum stated that he had talked with Lucas about the problem, and he felt this was the county’s best option, especially with the grant application pending.  Commissioners unanimously approved the repairs.
Commissioners also approved an order to establish a new $5 court cost fee on most civil lawsuits filed in county and district courts. 
The new fee was mandated by the Texas Legislature, with all proceeds going to the Twelfth Court of Appeals to fund a new appellate judicial system.
     In other business commissioners approved a settlement offer of $4,750 from Farm Bureau Insurance for a 1995 Chevrolet pickup which was considered a total loss after an accident.  The pickup was used by Ray Fleming, who serves as the environmental and litter control officer for Houston County and the City of Crockett.  Mr. Fleming was not at fault in the accident.
Commissioners approved the salaries for three sheriff’s office deputies who were transferred within the department; Clayton Smith was transferred from transport deputy to deputy 1, Lynn Gentry was transferred from bailiff to transport deputy, and Michael McCreight was transferred from deputy I to investigator.
Commissioners also approved a request from Tax Assessor-Collector Danette Millican to hire three part time employees to help process and mail tax statements.  The three are Lucy Benton, Jan Salmon and Beth Luce and accepted a payment of $1,000 from Lando Ellis Logging for damages to County Road 4065 in Precinct 3; authorized the sheriff’s office to sell a salvage 2005 Dodge pickup through the Auctioneer Express online auction service; and approved expenditures for County Clerk Bridget Lamb and District Clerk Carolyn Rains out of their respective records management funds.




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Copyright 2009
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