Trumbull commissioners to put jail medical services out to bid
By Ed Runyan
Despite a belief that the current medical services at the Trumbull County jail are low cost and high quality, the Trumbull County commissioners will consider other providers before awarding its next contract, Commissioner Frank Fuda said.
“We’re satisfied with the price and the work, but it hasn’t been bid out in a while,” Fuda said of the medical care provided by Dr. Phillip Malvasi and Malvasi’s staff.
The commissioners on Tuesday proposed a contract paying Dr. Malvasi $372,204 per year for the next three years, a slight increase over the current rate, but the resolution approving the contract was pulled from Wednesday’s meeting agenda.
Dr. Malvasi has been the medical-services provider for the Trumbull County jail dating back to 2001, according to Vindicator files. His first three-year contract paid him $250,000 per year.
He currently receives $324,204 annually, which includes the services of about six other health care workers in addition to Dr. Malvasi, who also carries his own insurance and provides some of the drugs given to inmates.
But the service is provided month-to-month, not under a contract, said Major Dan Mason, the jail administrator. Sheriff Paul Monroe wanted the services to be under a three-year contract so that the jail isn’t left without services suddenly, Mason said.
In addition to Fuda, commissioners Dan Polivka and Mauro Cantalamessa agreed it is time to seek requests for proposal from other medical-service providers.
“I wanted to get more proposals,” Cantalamessa said. “I think it’s a good practice.”
Fuda and Mason have both noted in recent days that Trumbull County pays less for medical services than other counties, citing Mahoning County as being higher.
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said Mahoning County currently pays about $1.9 million per year for medical services but is also going to be looking at other options before entering into its next contract, which expires this summer.
Major Billy Cappabianca, who is in charge of the jail, said the current price the jail pays through Correct Care Solutions of Nashville is too high.
Correct Care provides medical care to about 500 Mahoning County jail inmates. The Trumbull jail currently has about 350 inmates.