Recouping Costs Of Emergency Room Care

San Bernardino — The Board of Supervisors took another step on Tuesday to ensure San Bernardino County is reimbursed for the millions of dollars it must spend on illegal immigrants.

The board ratified an application to the federal government for reimbursement of costs incurred by Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Director. Arrowhead Regional Medical Center spends about $1 million annually to provide emergency room care to illegal immigrants.

Federal law precludes hospitals from refusing to treat anyone who comes to an emergency room seeking help. Failure to provide care can result in federal fines. Because of this requirement, illegal immigrants often use the ER as their first and only form of health care.

‘Until now, the county has borne this burden alone,’ Second District Supervisor Paul Biane said. ‘By tapping this federal reimbursement program, the county can hopefully recoup millions in uncompensated health care costs over the next four years.’

‘I plan on making sure San Bernardino County gets every penny it deserves for services rendered to people in this country illegally,’ Biane said. ‘If the federal government cannot keep illegal immigrants out, it certainly must assist local governments like San Bernardino County that are financially impacted.’

Last week, the Board of Supervisors appropriated funding for a program that will help the county secure more federal reimbursement for detaining undocumented immigrants arrested for crimes. Currently, many illegal immigrants are released from jail before federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers can properly document them.

Through the new program, ICE officers will train Sheriff’s Department custody specialists how to identify and properly document illegal immigrants. By doing this, the county can request the appropriate amount of reimbursement from the federal government. The Sheriff’s Department estimates it costs the County about $11 million a year to detain illegal immigrants.

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One Response to “Recouping Costs Of Emergency Room Care”

  1. Jim Carr Says:

    I applaud San Bernardino Country for their efforts to have the Federal Government reimbursed the County for healthcare for illegal aliens. Does it really matter if the legal citizens of this country are having their left or right pocket picked? Enforcing our immigration laws will solve the problem. Is that so hard to understand.

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