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IDAHO COUNTIES CALL FOR ENDING CARE OF OUT-OF-STATE INDIGENTS

Bannock County commissioners Tom Katsil- ometes and J.O. Cotant say they'd like to see the Idaho Legislature pass a law that would make other states responsible for indigent medical care for their residents.

Idaho counties have to pay for indigents now.Cotant said other neighboring states have such legislation, leaving Idaho vulnerable as the place indigents come for free care.

"We're the money pocket," Cotant said. He suggested hospital association officials meet with members of a legislative committee studying indigent care problems.

Fred Eaton, administrator of Bannock Regional Medical Center, said the Idaho Hospital Association has not supported such legislation because it would require hospitals to chase someone from state to state. That's not cost effective, he said.

Counties pay the first $10,000 of a medical claim, and counties can apply to the Catastrophic Insurance Fund to pay the rest.