2007 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Hyde-Smith
AN ACT RELATING TO THE HEALTH CARE COSTS OF STATE AND LOCAL INMATES; TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS; TO PROVIDE THAT COUNTIES, MUNICIPALITIES, THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND ANY LOCAL OR STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY SHALL ONLY BE LIABLE TO PAY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES RENDERED TO INMATES AT THE LESSER OF THE ACTUAL AMOUNT BILLED OR THE MEDICAID RATE IF THE INMATE HAS NO INSURANCE; TO PROHIBIT A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER FROM RELEASING A PERSON FROM CUSTODY TO AVOID THE COST OF NECESSARY MEDICAL TREATMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-901, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a county, a city, a county or city law enforcement agency, the Mississippi Department of Corrections or the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol shall be liable to pay a health care provider for health care services rendered to persons in the custody of such agencies the lesser of the actual amount billed by such health care provider or the Medicaid rate. The provisions of this section shall not apply if a person in the custody of a county or city law enforcement agency, the Mississippi Department of Corrections or the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol is covered under a current individual or group accident and health insurance policy, medical service plan contract, hospital service corporation contract, hospital and medical service corporation contract, fraternal benefit society or health maintenance organization contract.
(2) Nothing in this section shall prevent a county or city law enforcement agency, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol or such agencies' authorized vendors from entering into agreements with health care providers for the provision of health care services at terms, conditions and amounts which are different than the Medicaid rate.
(3) It shall be the responsibility of the custodial county or city law enforcement agency, Mississippi Department of Corrections or the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol or such agencies' agents, to determine, under agreement with the Division of Medicaid-Office of the Governor, the amount payable for the services provided and to communicate that determination, along with the remittance, advice and payment for the services provided.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a duty on the part of a health care provider to render health care services to a person in the custody of a county or city law enforcement agency, the Mississippi Department of Corrections or the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.
(5) As used in this section:
(a) "County or city law enforcement agency" means a county sheriff's department or municipal police department.
(b) "Health care provider" means a person licensed to practice any branch of the healing arts by the State Board of Medical Licensure, a person who holds a temporary permit to practice any branch of the healing arts issued by the State Board of Medical Licensure, a person engaged in a postgraduate training program approved by the State Board of Medical Licensure, a licensed physician assistant, a person licensed by the State Board of Psychological Examiners, a medical care facility licensed by the State Department of Health, a podiatrist licensed by the State Board of Medical Licensure, an optometrist licensed by the State Board of Optometry, a registered nurse, a nurse practitioner, a licensed professional nurse who is authorized to practice as a registered nurse anesthetist, a licensed practical nurse, a pharmacist or pharmacy licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy, a licensed physical therapist, a professional corporation organized pursuant to the professional corporation law of Mississippi by persons who are authorized by such law to form such a corporation and who are health care providers as defined by this subsection, a Mississippi limited liability company organized for the purpose of rendering professional services by its members who are health care providers as defined by this subsection and who are legally authorized to render the professional services for which the limited liability company is organized, a partnership of persons who are health care providers under this subsection, a Mississippi not-for-profit corporation organized for the purpose of rendering professional services by persons who are health care providers as defined by this subsection, a dentist certified by the State Board of Dental Examiners to administer anesthetics, a psychiatric hospital licensed by the State Department of Health, a licensed social worker or a mental health center or mental health clinic licensed by the Board of Examiners for Social Workers and any health care provider licensed by the appropriate regulatory body in another state that has a current approved provider agreement with the Division of Medicaid.
(c) "Medicaid rate" means the terms, conditions and amounts a health care provider would be paid for health care services rendered pursuant to a contract or provider agreement with the Division of Medicaid.
SECTION 2. (1) A law enforcement officer having custody of a person shall not release such person from custody merely to avoid the cost of necessary medical treatment while the person is receiving treatment from a health care provider unless the health care provider consents to such release, or unless the release is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. When the law enforcement officer is satisfied that probable cause no longer exists to believe the suspect committed a crime based upon the ongoing investigation, or the district attorney or city attorney gives notice that no prosecution will be forthcoming at this time, the law enforcement officer may release such person from custody. Upon the date of notification to the health care provider that the person is being released from custody because the ongoing investigation indicates that probable cause no longer exists or a decision by the prosecuting attorney that no charges will be filed, the law enforcement agency shall no longer be responsible for the cost of such person's medical treatment.
(2) As used in this section:
(a) "Law enforcement officer" has the meaning ascribed thereto in Section 1 of this act.
(b) "Health care provider" has the meaning ascribed thereto in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 3. Section 47-5-901, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-901. (1) Any person committed, sentenced or otherwise placed under the custody of the Department of Corrections, on order of the sentencing court and subject to the other conditions of this subsection, may serve all or any part of his sentence in the county jail of the county wherein such person was convicted if the Commissioner of Corrections determines that physical space is not available for confinement of such person in the state correctional institutions. Such determination shall be promptly made by the Department of Corrections upon receipt of notice of the conviction of such person. The commissioner shall certify in writing that space is not available to the sheriff or other officer having custody of the person. Any person serving his sentence in a county jail shall be classified in accordance with Section 47-5-905.
(2) If state prisoners are housed in county jails due to a lack of capacity at state correctional institutions, the Department of Corrections shall determine the cost for food and medical attention for such prisoners. The cost of feeding and housing offenders confined in such county jails shall be based on actual costs or contract price per prisoner. In order to maximize the potential use of county jail space, the Department of Corrections is encouraged to negotiate a reasonable per day cost per prisoner, which in no event may exceed Twenty Dollars ($20.00) per day per offender.
(3) Upon vouchers submitted by the board of supervisors of any county housing persons due to lack of space at state institutions, the Department of Corrections shall pay to such county, out of any available funds, the actual cost of food, or contract price per prisoner, not to exceed Twenty Dollars ($20.00) per day per offender, as determined under subsection (2) of this section for each day an offender is so confined beginning the day that the Department of Corrections receives a certified copy of the sentencing order and will terminate on the date on which the offender is released or otherwise removed from the custody of the county jail. The department shall pay the cost for health care services for prisoners at an amount no greater than the reimbursement rate based on the Mississippi Medicaid reimbursement rate, or the actual amount billed for such health care services, whichever is the lesser amount, as provided in Section 1 of this act. This limitation applies to all health care services defined in Section 1 of this act. Such payment shall be placed in the county general fund and shall be expended only for food and medical attention for such persons. The Department of Corrections shall not pay a county for offenders housed in county jails pending a probation or parole revocation hearing.
(4) A person, on order of the sentencing court, may serve not more than twenty-four (24) months of his sentence in a county jail if the person is classified in accordance with Section 47-5-905 and the county jail is an approved county jail for housing state inmates under federal court order. The sheriff of the county shall have the right to petition the Commissioner of Corrections to remove the inmate from the county jail. The county shall be reimbursed in accordance with subsection (2).
(5) The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall defend the employees of the Department of Corrections and officials and employees of political subdivisions against any action brought by any person who was committed to a county jail under the provisions of this section.
(6) This section does not create in the Department of Corrections, or its employees or agents, any new liability, express or implied, nor shall it create in the Department of Corrections any administrative authority or responsibility for the construction, funding, administration or operation of county or other local jails or other places of confinement which are not staffed and operated on a full-time basis by the Department of Corrections. The correctional system under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections shall include only those facilities fully staffed by the Department of Corrections and operated by it on a full-time basis.
(7) An offender returned to a county for post-conviction proceedings shall be subject to the provisions of Section 99-19-42 and the county shall not receive the per day allotment for such offender after the time prescribed for returning the offender to the Department of Corrections as provided in Section 99-19-42.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.