ETSU proposes higher rates for forensic services

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) – Officials in eight northeast Tennessee counties are expressing concerns about a proposed increase in fees for death investigations.

East Tennessee State University Dean of Medicine Robert Means announced this week that the college is seeking to charge counties $2.79 per capita for services at the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center. Counties are currently charged based on the five-year average of autopsies ordered by each one.

Means told the Johnson City Press ( that the new rate structure is necessary so the center can adhere to a new state law. He said the ETSU center can’t meet the requirements at its current staffing level.

Mayors in the affected counties say they don’t know if they can afford the increase and they may consider contacting elsewhere for services.