Teton County Commissioners signed off on a contract that pays a Utah-based doctor nearly $200,000 a year to oversee medical services for inmates at the county jail.

The contract, which is “not to exceed $198,200” for the year, was approved June 27. It has a clause that the deal may be renewed at the end of the term for two additional one-year segments.

“In essence, this is a three-year contract,” Commissioner Paul Vogelheim said in the June 27 voucher meeting. “It could evolve into that. So the amount we’re looking at is $594,000.”

Teton County Deputy Attorney Erin Weisman said the arrangement is likely to be reviewed and adjusted each year prior to approval.

“I would assume each year this amount may adjust,” she told the Board of County Commissioners. “We would probably come back with an amended contract every year to adjust rates.”

She also said there are two flexible parts of the contract, which will also change how much the doctor, Kennon Tubbs, is paid per month.

“Those are pharmacy services and overtime services, which the nursing staff provides,” Weisman said. “The amounts the county is billed may be a little less than that $16,000 per month if, in fact, he does not need all those called-out areas.”

Overtime costs were estimated at a rate of $2,800 a month, and pharmacy costs were estimated to cost about $3,000 a month.

Tubbs also contracts with Lincoln and Sweetwater counties for the same services, according to the staff report. He also serves 11 counties in Utah, he told the board.

Three local medical personnel will be subcontracted under Tubbs to administer care, he said. The contract includes 24-hour on-call nursing service as well as daily nursing coverage to dispense medications and conduct intake exams. Tubbs will also be available for phone consultations.

The county or Tubbs can cancel the contract at any time with 30 days’ notice. Services started July 1 and run through June 30, 2017.

Teton County Sheriff Jim Whalen estimated the jail averages 22 to 25 inmates at a time. It can hold up to 45.

Contact Melissa Cassutt at 732-7076 or county@jhnewsandguide.com.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Recommended for you

(3) comments

Howard Bradley

$200K a year for phone consultations and oversight of local staff doing actual work?

Totally reasonable, by American medical standards. Which is to say it's egregious.

richard aurelio

This decision, like many that the county has made recently, makes little to no sense to me. Why are we paying $200K/year to a Utah Doctor when we already have St. Johns fabulous facility and Doctors already here in Jackson?

Dave Dunlap

wow. now thats a shocker.

Welcome to the discussion.

Please note: Online comments may also run in our print publications.
Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Please turn off your CAPS LOCK.
No personal attacks. Discuss issues & opinions rather than denigrating someone with an opposing view.
No political attacks. Refrain from using negative slang when identifying political parties.
Be truthful. Don’t knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be proactive. Use the “Report” link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We’d love to hear eyewitness accounts or history behind an article.
Use your real name: Anonymous commenting is not allowed.