Introduced Version House Bill 2404 History

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hb2404 intr
H. B. 2404

(By Delegates Perry, Boggs, Morgan and Ellem)

[Introduced February 13, 2009; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary .]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §31-20-5f, relating to inmate reimbursement to the authority for medical services provided to persons held in regional jails.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §31-20-5f, to read as follows:
§31-20-5f. Charges assessed against inmates for services provided by the authority.
(a) The executive director is authorized to assess inmates serving a sentence in any regional jail reasonable charges for health care and treatment services provided to them by the authority. The charges assessed against an inmate may be deducted directly from the inmate's trustee account without the inmate's consent. The inmate shall be notified of the amount deducted and the charges to which it has been applied.
(b) As used in this section, a "reasonable charge" may not exceed the sum of $5 for any billable service. Inmates shall be notified of the fee schedule, billable services and exempt services. Services initiated by the inmate shall be assessed a fee, except that no charge may be assessed for:
(1) A specific health care service required under the law of this state, including, by way of illustration, tuberculin testing;
(2) An emergency service following a traumatic injury other than a self-induced injury, or necessary to prevent death or severe or permanent disability;
(3) Diagnosis and treatment of communicable diseases, including, by way of illustration, tuberculosis or hepatitis;
(4) Treatment of diagnosed severe mental illness;
(5) Treatment of specific chronic conditions identified by the executive director, including heart disease and diabetes;
(6) Staff-initiated care, including follow-up and referral visits;
(7) Preventative services that the executive director determines are to be provided or made available to all inmates, including services related to disease prevention and promotion of proper health habits; or
(8) Other services as may be exempted by the rule of the authority.
No inmate may be denied any necessary billable medical service because of the inability to pay the charge.
(c) Each inmate shall be afforded an opportunity at least quarterly to review all deposits into, withdrawals from and balance remaining in the inmate's trustee account during the preceding three months.
(d) The executive director shall promulgate interpretive rules implementing this section pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code prior to making any assessment under this section. The rules may establish the fee schedule and list of billable services and further define services to be exempted.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority to assess charges against inmates for medical services. The bill permits a reasonable copayment to be deducted directly from an inmate's trustee account for nonemergency medical treatment.

This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

This bill was recommended for introduction and passage during the 2009 Regular Session of the Legislature by the Legislative Oversight Committee on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority.
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