For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: May 27, 2005

Wasden Announces the Availability of Grants for Outpatient Surgical Care

(Idaho Falls) – More than $37,000 will be available for grants to assist Idaho Falls area residents who are not able to pay for outpatient surgical care, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today. The grant money is available through an agreement with the Idaho Falls Surgical Center and the Attorney General’s Office.

“These grant monies will go a long way to assist area residents who would otherwise be unable to afford a necessary surgery,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said during a news conference this morning in Idaho Falls. “The Eastern Idaho Special Services Agency will begin taking grant applications in June from residents in the surrounding areas who need assistance in paying for outpatient ambulatory surgeries.”

The Idaho Falls Surgical Center changed from a non-profit entity to a for-profit entity in May of 2002. The Office of the Attorney General reviewed this transaction and the Teton Anesthesia Investment Group’s proposal to convert the Surgical Center into a for-profit entity, pursuant to the Attorney General’s statutory and common law duty to oversee non-profit organizations. As part of an agreement with the Attorney General’s Office, the Idaho Falls Surgical Center agreed to establish a fund for the payment of medical expenses for indigent patients receiving outpatient surgical services in Bonneville County and the surrounding area.

Residents who qualify for medical assistance through Medicaid or Supplemental Social Security Income through the Social Security Administration may apply for these grants. Qualified applicants are residents who:

  • Need ambulatory medical services (defined as outpatient surgical procedures excluding emergency medical services);
  • Live within a 100 mile radius of Idaho Falls; and
  • Who do not have sufficient income or other available resources to pay for the services needed.
  • Qualified applicants can receive grants of up to $1,000.

Grants by the Indigent Patient Fund will be available on an ongoing basis, because only the interest earned by the fund can be used to make grants. The interest earned may vary depending on earnings. The $400,000 principal will always remain in the fund to earn interest.

Eligible citizens interested in applying for grants should contact Sheryl Bailey at the Eastern Idaho Special Services Agency, 357 Constitution Way, Idaho Falls, Idaho, or by calling (208) 522-5391.

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