2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:831 - Medical care of inmates; testing

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:831 (2018)

§831. Medical care of inmates; testing

            A. The secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall establish and shall prescribe standards for health, medical, and dental services for each institution, including preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic measures on both an outpatient and a hospital basis, for all types of patients. An inmate may be taken to a medical facility outside the institution when deemed necessary by the director. However, in situations which are not life-threatening, the medical facility selected to treat the inmate shall be a part of the state's charity hospital system. In emergency situations where treatment by a state charity hospital is not available or feasible, the inmate may receive emergency treatment at the nearest private medical facility. As soon as practicable, the inmate should be transferred to a facility operated by the state's charity hospital system. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all payments to private hospitals or health care providers shall be governed by R.S. 15:824(B)(1)(c). No monies appropriated to the department from the state general fund or from dedicated funds shall be used for medical costs associated with organ transplants for inmates or for the purposes of providing cosmetic medical treatment of inmates, unless the condition necessitating such treatment or organ transplant arises or results from an accident or situation which was the fault of the department or resulted from an action or lack of action on the part of the department. However, nothing in this Section shall prohibit an inmate from donating his vital organs for transplant purposes.

            B.(1) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations regarding reimbursement by a state inmate for medical expenses incurred by the department or sheriff for the inmate's treatment, including a requirement that the inmate file a claim with his private medical or health care insurer or any public medical assistance program, under which he is covered and from which the inmate may make a claim for payment or reimbursement of the cost of any such medical treatment.

            (2) In addition, the secretary shall adopt rules requiring that copayments be made by inmates upon receiving medical or dental treatment, which may include a sliding scale based on the inmates' ability to pay. These rules and regulations shall include but not be limited to guidelines for payments for inmate visits to doctors, hospitals, psychiatrists, and dentists, and for receipt of prescription or nonprescription drugs. The secretary shall also establish written guidelines for collection of copayments from an inmate's drawing account or savings account pursuant to R.S. 15:874. The provisions of this Paragraph shall apply to medical or dental treatment received at a public hospital operated by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

            C. The secretary may order that an inmate be tested for a contagious disease if the inmate has been in an altercation and there is reason to believe that an exchange of bodily fluids between the inmate and another person has taken place. In addition, the secretary may authorize the testing of a staff member for contagious diseases at state expense when such testing is in the best interest of the department, including consideration of its staff and inmate populations.

            D. For purposes of this Section "inmate" shall mean an individual who has been committed to the department for confinement after final sentence. For purposes of the prohibition against the use of state general or dedicated funds for organ transplants, "inmate" shall mean an individual who has been committed to the department for confinement for the crime of first or second degree murder, or the crime of aggravated or first degree rape and has exhausted all state and federal appellate and post conviction and relief remedies.

            Added by Acts 1968, No. 192, §1. Acts 1989, No. 430, §1; Acts 1990, No. 75, §1; Acts 1993, No. 686, §1; Acts 1993, No. 875, §1; Acts 1997, No. 626, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1057, §1; Acts 2003, No. 1161, §1; Acts 2008, No. 730, §1; Acts 2015, No. 184, §2.

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