Sheriff: Making progress on settling hospital bills

    Adams County Sheriff Shane Rekeweg says he's making progress in settling financial accounts with Adams Memorial Hospital over medical bills incurred by inmates at the county jail.
    Rekeweg told the March meeting of the Adams County Council that the overall hospital bill for inmates was almost $100,000, but has been whittled down to $36,000.
    He also said he will come before council in April to seek an additional appropriation to pay for medical bills for inmates. Rekeweg said he is having the jail's visiting nurse practitioner, Alicia Bates, check up on the inmate medical records and expenses.
    The sheriff said he is pleased with assistance provided by the hospital, such as being able to buy medicines at "below wholesale" prices and having Bates at the jail several times a week.
    The hospital "is really helping us out," he told the council, and "is very open to work with us."
    Rekeweg said Bates can do blood draws at the jail, and other things, rather than having to take inmates to the hospital for such procedures.
    Councilman Stan Stoppenhagen called Bates' presence at the jail "a huge advantage." Bates is a fulltime employee of Dr. Michael Ainsworth in Decatur.
    In other matters concerning the sheriff's department:
    • Rekeweg said four fulltime city and town police are working part-time as deputy sheriffs to reduce overtime, compensatory time, etc. of the regular deputies. The par-time deputies include two Decatur officers, one Berne officer, and one Geneva officer.
    • He said the "public areas" of the jail are being repainted.
    • He also said he; deputy sheriff Eric Beer, a sergeant; and chief dispatcher Bill Grimm will travel this year to North Carolina for a seminar on how to more effectively use technology.