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