Mississippi  Department of  Corrections

Christopher B. Epps  

Phil Bryant

Commissioner   

 Governor  

 

 

 

Medical Concerns FAQ

 

Medical Concerns FAQ:

 

Q:      What is a sick call request? 

 

A:        A sick call request (SCR) is a form that is completed by the offender to request medical, dental, or mental health care.  An offender must fill out a sick call request and put it in the box located in the offender’s housing unit.  Sick call requests must be specific and state the nature of the medical problem.  An example of a specific  sick call request would be “my stomach hurts,” and not just “I’m sick” or “I need to see the doctor.” 

            If an offender is on Lock Down, the sick call request will be picked up from the offender by medical personnel. 

            In a true emergency, sick call requests are not required. 

 

 

Q:      What is a “co-pay”?

 

A:        Co-payment is required for each inmate-initiated request for medical, dental, or prosthetic services, or medications.  This means the offender is charged a fee of $6.00 (six dollars) against his Offender Account, but ONLY IF the “Co-payment” is not “waived.” 

            The “co-pay” is considered a “global” charge and applies to the entire medical encounter.  Therefore, there is no additional charge for medications prescribed or given, prosthetics, dentures, eyeglasses, etc. that are ordered or prescribed by the medical provider at the time of the encounter. 

            A Co-pay requirement is MDOC policy and is permitted under state law, Miss Code Ann. § 47-5-179.    Money collected from Co-payment goes to the Mississippi Department of Corrections to help defray inmate healthcare costs.  Under state law it is the property of the State General Fund. 

 

 

Q:      What if I (inmate) don’t have money for the Co-pay?

 

A:        No medical services will be deprived for inability to pay.  The Inmate Banking Department will maintain a record of all charges, with the balance to be paid pending future receipt of funds in the inmate’s account.  

 

 

Q:      Do I (inmate) have to pay a co-pay every time?

 

A:        The Co-pay is “waived” or not charged to the offender for chronic care conditions, like diabetes, or high blood pressure, HIV care, etc.  Co-pay is waived for mental health treatment, and for true emergencies.  The Co-pay is also waived for follow up visits if ordered by the medical provider, and for all routine health screenings like annual TB testing, infection control measures, PAP smears, periodic physical exams, etc. 

A co-pay will be charged each time the offender initiates a new sick call request for a new complaint or medical request, unless a waiver applies. 

 

           

Q:     I want to know the medical condition of my spouse or relative who is an MDOC inmate.  How do I find out? 

 

A:        Federal privacy laws (eg, HIPAA) prohibit the release of medical information or “Protected Health Information (PHI)” without the specific written consent of the person (offender).  Therefore, if you desire medical information regarding a specific offender, you must obtain this information directly from the offender, and not from MDOC personnel.  It is unlawful for MDOC personnel (even the doctors and nurses) to disclose medical facts about an inmate without the inmate’s expressed written consent.

 

 

Q:     Can an inmate be released from incarceration because he or she is terminally ill?  

 

A:        Mississippi Code Annotated § 47-7-4 permits inmates with serious medical conditions to be transferred, under certain conditions, to the Division of Community Corrections.

In order to be eligible for conditional medical release, the inmate shall have to be determined as having a significant permanent physical medical condition with no possibility of recovery.  For the purposes of this policy, a “significant permanent physical medical condition” shall be determined as a condition that is incapacitating, totally disabling, and/or terminal in nature. 

 

Medical conditions or diseases that are chronic, but stable, and are being addressed by ongoing medical intervention or therapy are not considered to be “significant permanent physical medical conditions” and are not eligible for conditional medical release. 

 

Consideration:

 

Determination of eligibility for Conditional Medical Release shall be the responsibility of the inmate’s treating physician.