$2.2 million OK’d for unanticipated Nevada prison medical claims

CARSON CITY — State lawmakers on Thursday gave final approval to a nearly $2.2 million request from the Department of Corrections to cover un­anticipated inmate medical claims for the current fiscal year.

The request to dip into a state contingency fund was approved by the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee after a brief discussion.

Lawmakers were told that 13 catastrophic medical cases that have occurred so far this fiscal year, defined as costing more than $100,000 each, are a contributing factor in the request. The cases have cost about $2.4 million with nearly three months remaining in the 2014 fiscal year that ends June 30.

The 2013 Legislature approved just under $43 million in state funds for inmate care in the current year and $41 million in the second year of the budget.

Of this total, outside medical costs, such as prescription drugs and hospitalization, were projected to cost $18 million this year and $18.8 million in fiscal year 2015.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.