By Mike Kruzman /

The Livingston County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement that will help save costs when inmates within the jail are sent offsite for medical needs.

The Sheriff’s Office was requesting a 2 year renewal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which would provide discounts to offsite medical bills the Office incurs for inmate doctor or hospital visits.

Sheriff Mike Murphy shared the value of this contract with Commissioners during their meeting on Monday, saying that going with BCBSM was the “best thing since sliced bread.” He shared a comparison of costs with and without the contract and told Commissioners they weren’t going to do better or cheaper than this.

According to a memo from Lt. Dan Adas, this discount would also apply to prescription drugs, offsite dental, vision, hearing, and pre-booking in custody medical clearances. Adas writes that continuing the contract should result in discount of 50% to 73%, and the County would be charged an administrative fee between 11% and 20.5%.

Last year, Blue Cross processed 235 claims from the Sheriff’s Office for a total of $538,900. After discounts, the Office was only responsible for 27-% of that amount, saving just under $400,000.

The contract extension was approved by Commissioners, 7-0.