Healthcare Rates

A Northwest Florida sheriff says he has to go outside his county to find cheaper healthcare rates for prisoners.

Holmes County Sheriff Dennis Lee says jail inmate medical expenses have skyrocketed during the current fiscal year.

He estimates the price tag will exceed $150,000.

The Holmes County Commission voted unanimously this week to contract with the Northwest Florida Community Hospital in Chipley.

The Washington County facility will provide a doctor or nurse practitioner at the Holmes County work camp five days each week.

And under the terms of the deal, the annual cost for inmate care cannot exceed $100,000.

Several Holmes County healthcare providers contacted News 4 and said they are angry over Sheriff Lee's decision to contract with an outside provider.