$1.6 million proposed to treat Nevada inmates with hepatitis C | NevadaAppeal.com

$1.6 million proposed to treat Nevada inmates with hepatitis C

The Board of Examiners on Tuesday approved $1.59 million to complete testing and treatment of prison inmates who have hepatitis C.

Gov. Steve Sisolak, who chairs the three-member board, said testing has identified some 1,200 inmates who have the disease. He said doctors have advised him it costs $15,000 per inmate for the treatment.

“If left untreated, this disease can spread widely through the prison,” he said adding that it is much more costly if treated in later stages than if the disease is treated early.

The medical standard requires testing of all inmates and treatment of those who test positive for the disease.

In addition, the board approved another roughly $500,000 to cover excess outside medical costs incurred by the prison for a total of $2,149,866.

Finally, the board approved $4.87 million to cover shortfalls in non-medical costs within the prison system.

Prison officials report, however, that they have made significant progress in reducing the shortfalls at the Department of Corrections. But they also served notice that the department will probably have to return to the board for another infusion of cash in June as the fiscal year comes to an end.

The allocations from the Contingency Fund must be approved by the legislative Interim Finance Committee.