The Kennebec County Correctional Facility in Augusta in September 2020. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — Kennebec County officials say they’ve quickly signed up another medical service provider for jail inmates after abrupt notification recently by Correctional Health Partners that it would no longer cover those services at the Kennebec County jail because of a disputed bill.

At a special meeting on Friday, Kennebec County commissioners voted to contract with CPS Health Care, which is already providing mental health services at the jail, to provide inmate medical services as well for the five months remaining in the CHP contract.

Correctional Health Partners, which has served at least three Maine county jails, has also terminated its services in Androscoggin County. The company notified Kennebec County it would cease providing services as of Aug. 1.

Kennebec officials have already started the process setting up options to review jail medical providers. Two months ago, the county issued a request for proposals for jail health care, and those proposals are due at the end of the month.

The Kennebec County Correctional Facility’s inmate population usually numbers about 140 and has a staff of about 50.

CPS Health Care, based in Massachusetts, provides services to sheriff’s offices in Kennebec and York counties.


“We can’t have one day without medical services at the jail,” Kennebec County Administrator Scott Ferguson said. “If we had a break in medical service, we’d have to ship out inmates to other jails throughout the state.”

Attempts to reach Correctional Health Partners’ office in Denver this week were unsuccessful as calls to several departments, including media relations, were not connected.

Ferguson said Correctional Health Partners has sent the county a “true-up” bill, seeking payment of about $350,000 — an amount equivalent to about one-third of the contract price — in additional costs for services.

The additional money was apparently to provide premium pay for nurses. Ferguson said when he sought out additional details, including time sheets and other supporting documents to justify the bill, he was provided only with a spreadsheet with “random information.”

“This has become a legal matter,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he’d be willing to settle with the company because there may have been higher costs, but he’d like to see more documentation than the company has provided to date.


Clarice Proctor, interim county administrator for Androscoggin County, said via an email Tuesday that Correctional Health Partners has given its termination notice to the county as well.

“We have already found a new company to contract with without lapse in service,” Proctor wrote.

She said she has not seen any kind of supplemental bill from Correctional Health Partners.

Knox County, meanwhile, is currently in the first year of a three-year contract with the Colorado-based Correctional Health Partners.

“We still have them at this point, and that’s about all I can probably say,” Knox County Administrator Andrew Hart said. “I know there has been some discussion of concerns with them, but those are being addressed by correctional facilities staff and discussions with our attorney.”

Hart said as far as he knows, Correctional Health Partners has not sent any kind of supplemental bill to Knox County. And while there have been issues, Hart said the county and the healthcare provider have been working through them.

Currently, Correctional Health Partners has advertised to fill administrative, nursing and substance abuse positions in Rockland.

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