DOC gets $2M to cover medical-cost shortfall

The Board of Examiners voted Tuesday to recommend a $2.17 million infusion to the Department of Corrections budget to cover unexpected medical costs.

The money from the Contingency Fund must be finally approved by the legislative Interim Finance Committee, which meets Thursday.

Corrections Deputy Director Scott Sisco said most of that comes from a series of “catastrophic claims” dating to before this fiscal year. Catastrophic cases are major medical events that cost the state more than $100,000. He said 12 such cases in 2013 cost about $12 million, and the 13 such cases in 2014 have cost $7 million so far.

But he said more than $435,000 of the total was the result of a budget error when lawmakers projected savings to the General Fund by putting as many inmate medical claims as possible through the Medicaid program under the new Affordable Care Act rules. That much of the projected savings was to come from the Inmate Welfare Account, but lawmakers mistakenly credited the entire amount to the General Fund, artificially creating a shortfall there.

The board consisting of the governor, secretary of state and attorney general also heard a brief update on Deloitte Consulting’s progress in analyzing the problems at the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

Deloitte’s Debasis Saha told Gov. Brian Sandoval her company has had some trouble getting certain reports from Xerox, the contractor whose website has had myriad problems handling those seeking to sign up and buy a health plan, as required by federal law.

But both he and Xerox representative David Hamilton said the issue is more one of determining what reports Deloitte needs and how to create them than any lack of cooperation. Hamilton assured the board Deloitte would have almost all if not all of the reports it needs to do the analysis within a day or two.

“Almost is not good enough. It feels like what we’ve heard before,” he said, referring to Xerox’s repeated promises that the company was making progress over the months since the ACA went into effect Oct. 1.

Hamilton said Xerox is committed to working with Deloitte and finishing the job.

Deloitte was hired last month to troubleshoot the Xerox website and recommend what must be done to fix it.


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