CHAPTER 410

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 376

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO REQUIREMENTS FOR INMATES TO PAY FOR CERTAIN MEDICAL SERVICES AND MEDICATIONS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend § 6536, Title 11, Delaware Code by designating said section as subsection (a) and inserting as new subsections (b), (c) and (d) the following:

"(b) The Department shall charge a reasonable fee as defined by the Department for every inmate initiated visit with an institutional health care practitioner for examination and/or treatment. The Department shall not charge an inmate for medical visits initiated by medical/mental health staff, visits as a result of a reference to a physician from a physician's assistant or nurse practitioner, or follow-up visits initiated by a medical professional or visits resulting from a chronic medical condition, The Department shall not be responsible for the cost of medical visits to or by outside medical consultants if the visits were not ordered by institutional medical services personnel. Notwithstanding the above, an inmate shall not be refused medical treatment for financial reasons; provided, however, the Department shall debit an inmate's account for future payment to the Department in the event funds are deposited in said account and the Department shall retain records of an inmate's account upon the release of the inmate from the custody of the Department if such account has a negative balance. The outstanding balance of such an account shall be reinstated should that person be committed to the custody of the Department at some future time.

(c) The Department shall charge a reasonable fee, representing the cost to the Department, for any non-prescription drugs. The Department shall not be responsible for the cost of prescriptive drugs or medications prescribed by outside medical consultants unless approved by institutional medical services personnel. Notwithstanding the above, an inmate shall not be refused medications for financial reasons; provided, however, the Department shall debit an inmate's account for future payment to the Department in the event funds are deposited in said account and the Department shall retain account records upon the release of the inmate from the custody of the Department if such account has a negative balance. The outstanding balance of such account shall be reinstated should that person be committed to the custody of the Department in the future.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision of the Delaware Code to the contrary, there shall be established a special fund of the State to be known as the Medical Cost Recovery Fund. The Department of Correction shall, commencing upon the effective date of this Act, deposit funds assessed pursuant to subsections (b) and (c) of this section into the Medical Cost Recovery Fund. The Department may use the Medical Cost Recovery Fund to defray the costs of medical services provided to inmates."

Section 3. If any provision of this Act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this Act are declared to be severable.

Section 4. This Act shall be effective July I, 1996.

Approved June 28, 1996