Unusual Situations Spike Medical Costs At Shawnee Co. Jail

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A routine budget review raised concerns over soaring medical costs at the Shawnee County Jail.

The jail's already topped 90 percent of its medical budget for the year. Interim Corrections Director Brian Cole says costs are projected based on the past several years.

This year, however, brought some unusual situations. Cole says they've had four or five inmates who have had extensive surgeries, another who has a rare blood disease that wasn't diagnosed until his arrest, an inmate who was shot by law enforcement who's required treatment in Kansas City, and a paraplegic.

Cole says the total medical bills have exceeded $2.5 million, but the county has only had to pay the Medicaid rate, bringing it down to $600,000.

Cole says he plans to cut back in other areas to avoid going over-budget overall.