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Sick Inmates Hurting Greene County Jail Budget

Last updated on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

(BLOOMFIELD) - Sick inmates are becoming a bitter pill to swallow for the Greene County Jail’s budget.

Nick Schneider of the Greene County Daily World reports that Sheriff Terry Pierce is concerned about how to pay for prisoner medical expenses, which the jail becomes responsible for when an inmate is brought to the jail.

Pierce says budgeting for prisoner medical expenses is a tough task for every jail across the state and he called on the County Council members to join him in lobbying state and federal lawmakers for some legislation that might provide some much needed relief

A case in point, Sheriff Pierce explained that recently an inmate from the local jail was transported to IU Medical Center in Indianapolis for treatment that resulted in an original bill of $150,869 sent to the county. Through some negotiations and fee revisions, the bill was cut to $75,749.

Pierce says contact with the hospital's business office resulted in an agreement to make monthly payments on this one outstanding bill amounting to $3,778 for 20 months.

The sheriff, without revealing the medical nature of the inmate's treatment because of HIPA regulations, said this particular medical case remains under investigation by his department. Pierce has taken steps to subpoena the hospital's records to determine if the inmate may have contributed to his medical problem.

Pierce says the jail is receiving several inmates with some serious medical issues.
The Jail Medical budget for 2012 amounts to $50,000 and Pierce says he's scrambling to move money from various accounts to make sure he has enough in that particular line item to run him until Dec. 31.

Pierce says the situation is out of control.

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