Erlanger Health Systems is backing away from providing medical services for the Hamilton County Jail that it has furnished for a number of years.
Sheriff Jim Hammond said with the current contract ending Dec. 30 that Erlanger first mentioned a $7 million charge. The sheriff said, "We felt that was untenable because it was so much more than we have been paying."
He said about a week and a half ago Erlanger said it would no longer be providing the service.
In its place, the County Commission approved using the services of a jail medical firm headed by Dr. John Blake.
Dr. Blake said he started the jail medical specialty 15 years ago and how has 60 jails, including 23 Tennessee counties.
He said the firm gives quarterly cost reports and operates on a cost-plus basis. He said, "You don't pay for any doctors or nurses that are not on site."
The cost to the county will be $3.3 million.