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Oklahoma County to pay $5.5 million to cover inmates’ medical bills

By Jay F. Marks Modified: August 8, 2008 at 4:01 pm •  Published: August 8, 2008
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Oklahoma County officials have agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the hospital that has been treating county jail inmates the past five years.

A judge signed off on the agreement today, ending a long-running legal battle launched in July 2005 by HCA Health Services of Oklahoma.

The company, which does business at OU Medical Center, had been seeking more than $7 million in unpaid medical bills that have accumulated since February 2003.

The parties ended up in mediation, poring through a detailed spreadsheet to figure out which inmates’ bills should be the county’s responsibility.

The county agreed to pay $5.5 million.

The judgment will be assigned to the Oklahoma County Retirement System so officials can cut a check to HCA within 45 days, an attorney for the county said.