Lawsuit: County owes Alta Vista $2.6M for inmate health care

Lawsuit: County owes Alta Vista $2.6M for inmate health care

From the Las Vegas Optic

Alta Vista Regional Hospital is seeking payment of more than $2.6 million from San Miguel County for health care services provided to incarcerated inmates at the San Miguel County Detention Center. The county denies it owes that amount, and asserts it shouldn’t be billed for inmates’ health care at all, according to documents filed in the Fourth Judicial District Court.

The county has for years been transporting inmates to Alta Vista for health care, and Alta Vista has been billing the county for those services. However, in the suit filed Dec. 8 and served to the county Jan 5, Alta Vista alleges it has made multiple attempts to collect overdue payments, but the county has so far failed to pay for services provided to inmates.

Alta Vista asserts that the amount owed by the county now exceeds $2.6 million, and that despite the outstanding balance, the county continues to bring inmates to Alta Vista for health care services — services Alta Vista continues to provide and then bill the county for, according to the suit.

San Miguel County, Alta Vista alleges, has said it is not responsible for the cost of health care provided to inmates. Alta Vista further alleges the county asked Alta Vista to seek payment directly from the inmates who received medical care, or to seek payment from “other sources,” according to the lawsuit.