Healthcare funding concerns are at the doorstep of the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. According to the Director of Corrections, Rob Reardon says the state is no longer subsidizing the cost of primary health care for parish inmates. Due to changes in the charity hospital system, parish correctional facilities have been paying for inmate medical care that was at one time free.
Reardon says for example; "all the prenatal check-ups are not going to be covered but when the female goes into actual birth they're going to start covering from that point forward."
Reardon is trying to be proactive. He says the state plans to reallocate money for emergent care only, not primary medical needs. That cost has been handed over to the parish correctional centers. Reardon is hopeful he can do something on site to off set the cost of transporting an inmate, then having to pay the bill once there.
"There's going to be a cost even for Telemedicine, but it's going to be less than bring them there; and all the other things involved in bringing them to the hospital," says Reardon.
Consolidated Chief Financial Officer Lorrie Toups says Reardon is right on target. There will be an added cost to consider. "We're expecting increases because of that. We're still required to meet certain levels of medicare for inmates," explains Toups
Toups says that's a medical requirement that can often be expensive; From kidney dialysis treatments to a simple root canal."our risk manager is trying to negotiate with some of the hospitals to see if they can pinpoint a dollar amount to see what that's going to cost," adds Toups.
The added medical expense is not in Lafayette Parish. Reardon says all parish correctional facilities are having to make the adjustment.