Prison Medical Receiver Plans To Cut Payments to Outside Hospitals
Federal receiver J. Clark Kelso plans to cut the rate the state pays outside hospitals to treat prison inmates, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has paid some hospitals four times the Medicare rate to treat inmates. New legislation will let Kelso reduce the amount the state pays outside hospitals to a little more than double the Medicare rate. The plan could save the state $50 million in 2009.
However, Jan Emerson of the California Hospital Association said the new rates will not adequately compensate health care providers who treat prison inmates. She said that prison inmates "usually have many complex, chronic illnesses, such as HIV or alcoholism or drug abuse, or are victims of violence within the prisons, which are not typical for Medicare patients."
Emerson added that some hospitals might end their contracts with prisons over the rate cut (Small, "KPCC News," KPCC, 8/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.