Update: Victoria County extend contract with UTMB for one year

Update 2/19/19:

Victoria County Commissioners approved a one year extension on the contract between UT Medical Branch and the County Jail to continue serving as the jail’s medical staff.

Victoria County previously ran the jail’s medical department until 2017, when UTMB took over.

After speaking to representatives with Victoria County Sheriff’s Office, county commissioners determined it would be more cost effective to retain UTMB’s services, despite a substantial increase in price for their service.

“We’re still believing that UTMB is the best deal for the county,” County Judge Ben Zeller proclaimed. “In spite of the higher fee, we think that’s gonna be cheaper than trying to do it in house once again. So, we’ll continue to analyze how effectively this program works but, for the time being, we think it’s still the right fit for Victoria County.”

Despite the extension, the county will continue to keep their options open and will continue to evaluate UTMB’s effectiveness going forward.

Original 1/14/19:

The Victoria County Commissioners will re-evaluate the medical contract between the county jail and the UT Medical Branch.

UTMB, which provide medical services to the county jail, will raise their contract price by over $250,000 compared to last year.

The quality of UTMB’s service was called into question during Monday’s commissioner meeting by the grandparents of Clinton Harrington, who we previously reported was found unconscious in his jail cell last October and pronounced dead four days later.

The death of Harrington while in UTMB’s care, combined with the price hike, have commissioners questioning if they should go in another direction.

“I’m not one to continue doing something simply because that’s what we’ve done before.” stated County Judge Ben Zeller. “I think we need to examine all of our options. Certainly, this is an issue not only of dollars and cents but also the effectiveness of the program.”

The county will hold an open discussion during next Tuesday’s meeting, with representatives of the Sheriff’s Office and UTMB attending, to determine their best course of action going forward.