Requires inmates in state correctional facilities to make medical co-payments of seven dollars upon receipt of medical treatment; provides that an inmate shall not be refused treatment for lack of ability to pay co-payment charges; directs all moneys collected to be made available for the operation of such correctional facility.
BILL NUMBER: S2404
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the correction law, in relation to requiring inmates to make medical co-payments
PURPOSE : To require inmates in New York State correctional facilities to make co-payments in the amount of seven dollars for medical treatment.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Adds a new section, 607, to the correction law to require co-payments for medical treatments to inmates in the amount of seven dollars. An inmate will NOT be refused treatment for lack of ability to pay co-payment charges. Each inmate will be required to sign a log at the time of visit. Each medical co-payment will then be posted to the inmates account and each inmate will receive an account statement at the end of each month. Inmates are not assessed charges for psychiatric visits. All money collected pursuant to this section will be made available for the operation of the facility.
EXISTING LAW : Inmates currently receive taxpayer-funded medical treatment while in the custody of the Department of Correctional Services.
JUSTIFICATION : New York currently spends $121 million each year on prison health services (just under $2,000 per inmate). Instituting a co-payment on inmates for medical treatment will reduce the large number of abusive medical visits to providers; hold inmates partially responsible for their own health care expenses and; provide a revenue source to address increasing general fund costs for inmate medical care.
A number of other states have already enacted co-payments for inmate medical services, including Arizona, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. These programs have worked with great success. In some states, the abuse in the number of sick-call visits by inmates reduced by 76%. Because of financial considerations, inmates become more responsible for their own well-being by taking better care of themselves. In addition, the public responds favorably toward changes when criminals are responsible for part of their cost of incarceration.
The Supreme court, in Revere v. Massachusetts General Hospital, 463 U.S. 239 (1983), found that as long as the inmate received the necessary attention, state law could determine who paid. Inmates are never refused treatment for lack of ability to pay co-payment charges. The charge is assessed after completion of the visit when the visit log is processed.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.1324 of 2006, S.439 of 2004, S.224 of 2002, S.642 of 2000, S.3429 of 1998, S.7482-A of 1996, S.1453 of 2007/2008
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Significant savings to the state through increased revenue available to fund inmate health care as well as an anticipated reduction in the number of abusive inmate medical visits.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become law, except that any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date shall be promulgated on or before such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2404 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 19, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to requiring inmates to make medical co-payments THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new section 607 to read as follows: S 607. MEDICAL TREATMENT CO-PAYMENT. 1. AN INMATE OF AN INSTITUTION OF THE DEPARTMENT SHALL MAKE A MEDICAL CO-PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF SEVEN DOLLARS UPON RECEIPT OF MEDICAL TREATMENT. 2. EACH INMATE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SIGN A LOG DOCUMENTING THE SCHED- ULED TIME OF VISIT, INMATE NAME AND ID NUMBER AND DESCRIPTION OF COMPLAINT. 3. EACH MEDICAL CO-PAYMENT SHALL BE POSTED TO THE INMATES' ACCOUNTS EITHER AS MEDICAL OR DENTAL CHARGES TO FACILITATE RESPONSE TO INMATE QUERIES. 4. EACH INMATE SHALL BE SENT AN ACCOUNT STATEMENT AT THE END OF EACH MONTH SHOWING ALL CREDITS AND DEBITS AGAINST THE ACCOUNT AND ACCOMPANY- ING EXPLANATIONS. 5. SHOULD AN INMATE NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT FUNDS IN HIS OR HER ACCOUNT TO COVER THE CHARGES, THEN HIS OR HER ACCOUNT SHALL BE FROZEN PENDING RECEIPT OF FUNDS SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY HIS OR HER OBLIGATION. 6. AN INMATE SHALL NOT BE REFUSED TREATMENT FOR LACK OF ABILITY TO PAY CO-PAYMENT CHARGES. THE CHARGE IS ASSESSED AFTER COMPLETION OF THE VISIT WHEN THE VISIT LOG IS PROCESSED. 7. INMATES ARE NOT ASSESSED CO-PAYMENT CHARGES FOR PSYCHIATRIC VISITS. 8. FEDERAL INMATES WILL BE BILLED DIRECTLY TO THE JURISDICTION WHICH WAS AGREED TO BY THE FEDERAL AGENCY. SUBSEQUENTLY FEDERAL BOARDERS WILLEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00673-01-9 S. 2404 2
NOT BE ASSESSED CO-PAYMENT IF THAT JURISDICTION IS PAYING THE DEPARTMENT A SPECIFIC PER DIEM TO HOUSE EACH INMATE. 9. ALL MONEYS COLLECTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION WILL BE MADE AVAIL- ABLE FOR THE OPERATION OF THE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY. 10. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law, except that any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date shall be promulgated on or before such date.