Are government entities required to pay the hospital bills of incarcerated prisoners? This is a scenario that happens quite often. Jailed patients are admitted onto the hospitalist service through the ER for anything from patients faking seizures in the ER to chest pain to drug overdoses. When patients are under the custody of the city, state or federal system, those entities are required to pay for necessary acute health care services. I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with a prisoner’s constitutional right. You lose your right to vote, but not to get a liver transplant.
So what happens? Jailed patients get admitted and guards, sometimes, one, two or three at a time, are required to be at the patient’s bedside 24 hours a day. If the patient needs to transport to the radiology department, sometimes this must be arranged with the guards ahead of time to allow extra staffing for the transport.
As you can tell, having a jailed patient is expensive, not only for the cost of the incurred hospital expenses but also the extra labor costs of having additional guards in the patient’s room 24 hours a day. So what’s a city to do? Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*