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Hepatitis C treatment costs $90,000 per R.I. inmate

Department of Corrections will spend an estimated $350,000 to treat four inmates for Hepatitis C


By Walt Buteau
WPRI

(WPRI) — The Department of Corrections will spend an estimated $350,000 to treat four inmates for Hepatitis C according to officials who acknowledge the cost could balloon if more inmates fit the criteria for a new type of treatment.

Elizabeth Earls, the Department of Corrections’ Assistant Director of Rehabilitative Services, said the law requires the state to provide healthcare for prisoners. The exact number of the prison’s 3300 occupants with Hepatitis C is unknown because inmates are not required to submit to testing.

According to Earls there are currently 177 inmates diagnosed with the blood borne illness, with four of them scheduled to receive this new type of medical care that costs up to $90,000 a patient. It is said to be more effective than previous types of treatments, but also about seven times more expensive.

Full story: Treatment costs up to $90,000 per inmate

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