Medi-Cal cash for prisons

State prison health-care system could save millions through Medi-Cal

California’s prison health system could receive a major infusion of cash if it reaches Medi-Cal agreements with several counties.

A report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office found that California has only recently developed a process for low-income inmates to obtain federal Medi-Cal funding, despite a federal policy that has allowed states to draw federal funds for inmates who qualify for Medicaid since 1997, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Federal receiver J. Clark Kelso has reached agreements for Medi-Cal coverage for inmates in 12 counties, and plans to continue negotiations with more counties, which could end up saving the state $13 million a year.

About six years ago, a U.S. district judge appointed Kelso to oversee California’s prison health system after determining one state inmate died as a result of malpractice or neglect every week.