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Emmet to work on committal payment plan

By Staff | Jun 25, 2008

SPENCER — In order to foster good will and to see that the right people get paid, the Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday agreed to work out a payment arrangement with Avera Holy Family Health for physician assessments for committals.

Sheriff Larry Lamack met with the supervisors on the issue of medical expenses in general, and in particular, for the legally required physician assessments for committals to either the state hospital in Cherokee or to Spencer Hospital. Lamack said that Avera had told him that everyone except the hospital gets paid for the physician assessments. And apparently even the county is not required to pay the bill.

Lamack said that in the committal process, the individual needs to first see a doctor. The doctor then recommends whether the person should be committed. A committal decision is ultimately made by a judge. A person considered for committal very often is not under arrest.

Lamack asked for one of the supervisors to meet with Avera representatives Thursday, July 10 to discuss the county covering those committal physician assessment costs.

Supervisors Jim Jenson and Roger Anderson both agreed to meet with Avera on the matter. The board also agreed that county mental health coordinator Dorothy Christensen should attend the meeting.

While persons may not be committing a crime while they are in the process of being considered for a committal, Lamack said if law enforcement thinks the person is a danger to himself or others then either county or city law enforcement can take the person into custody.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved fireworks permits for Derrick Roskam for July 5, Karen Wicks July 20 and Eric Anderson June 28.

The board also heard a road report from county engineer Roger Patocka.