Grover C. Dils Hospital Administrator Jason Bleak talked with County Commissioners regarding help paying for the long-term indigent care patients.
Indigent care is care of people who have no means of caring for themselves, lacking food, clothing, and other necessities of life because of poverty, needy, poor, or being impoverished.
Dils Hospital has two such patients Bleak explained, and is in need of $130,601.70 through the end of June 2014.
He said at least one person is a ward of the County and under County guardianship, administered by the District Attorney.
He said the state Medicaid applications for the people were denied and they did not have enough private funds to pay the hospital bill.
These are losses the hospital cannot afford to absorb, Bleak said, “and these bills have been growing, and we need to bring it to a resolution.” Another application is in the process right now, he added, and if approved, will go back three months.
Bleak said this is the first time he has approached the Commission for help from this fund in the nine years he has served as hospital administrator. “But now, it’s that time that we need some help for these two residents whom we continue to care for.”
District Attorney Daniel Hooge said Lincoln County does have a medical fund for assistance with indigent care. “It’s an ad velorum tax, that rolls over annually. It doesn’t zero out at the end of the year.”
Commissioner Adam Katschke suggested the Board begin a study of ways in which the County might be able to pay up to 60 percent of the indigent care needs that will be always available. Discussions on such matters will be held at a later date.
In the meantime, it was noted the present fund does have enough to pay the hospital request and Commissioners approved the request by unanimous vote.