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Proposed Rule

Inmate Fees for Health Care Services

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Prisons, Justice.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) proposes rules describing procedures we will follow for charging inmates fees for certain kinds of health services, as required under the Federal Prisoner Health Care Copayment Act of 2000.

DATES:

Please send comments by December 9, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street, NW., Washington, DC 20534.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah Qureshi, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone (202) 307-2105.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the Federal Prisoner Health Care Copayment Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-294, October 12, 2000, 114 Stat. 1038), the Bureau of Prisons may assess and collect a fee for health care services provided in connection with certain kinds of inmate health care visits. In this document, we propose rules describing procedures we will follow for charging inmates health service fees for certain kinds of health care services.

Who Do These Rules Apply To?

These rules apply to anyone incarcerated in an institution under our jurisdiction and to anyone, as designated by the Director, who has been charged with or convicted of an offense against the United States.

What Will This Rule Do?

Through this rule, the Bureau will add a subpart F to its regulations in 28 CFR part 549, on Medical Services. Under these rules, an inmate must pay a $2.00 fee for health care services if (1) he/she receives services in connection with a visit that he/she requested, except for certain services, or (2) he/she injured an inmate who, as a result of the injury, needs a health care visit.

Under these rules, and under the Federal Prisoner Health Care Copayment Act of 2000, we will not charge fees for health care services based on staff referrals, staff-approved follow-up treatment for a chronic condition, preventative health care services, emergency services, prenatal care, diagnosis or treatment of chronic infectious diseases, mental health care, or substance abuse treatment.

If inmates disagree with a health care service fee that we charge them, they may appeal it through the Bureau's Administrative Remedy Program.

Also, if an inmate is indigent and unable to pay the health care service fee, we will not charge that inmate.

Where To Send Comments

You can send written comments on this rule to the Rules Unit, Office of General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street, NW., Washington, DC 20534.

We will consider comments received during the comment period before taking final action. We will try to consider comments received after the end of the comment period. In light of comments received, we may change the rule.

We do not plan to have oral hearings on this rule. All the comments received remain on file for public inspection at the above address.

Executive Order 12866

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) determined that certain rules are part of a category of actions which are not “significant regulatory actions” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Because this rule falls within that category, OMB did not review it.

Executive Order 13132

This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Under Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications for which we would prepare a Federalism Assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Director of the Bureau of Prisons, under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), reviewed this regulation. By approving it, the Director certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities because: This rule is about the correctional management of offenders committed to the custody of the Attorney General or the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, and its economic impact is limited to the Bureau's appropriated funds.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This rule will not cause State, local and tribal governments, or the private sector, to spend $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. We do not need to take action under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This rule is not a major rule as defined by § 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Plain Language Instructions

We want to make Bureau documents easier to read and understand. If you can suggest how to improve the clarity of these regulations, call or write to Sarah Qureshi at the address or telephone number listed above.

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List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 549

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Kathleen Hawk Sawyer,

Director, Bureau of Prisons.

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Under rulemaking authority vested in the Attorney General in 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and delegated to the Director, Bureau of Start Printed Page 63060Prisons, we propose to amend 28 CFR part 549 as follows.

SUBCHAPTER C—INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT

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PART 549—MEDICAL SERVICES

1. Revise the authority citation for 28 CFR 549 to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4005, 4014, 4042, 4045, 4081, 4082, (Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 4241-4247, 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984, as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510.

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2. Add a new Subpart F to read as follows:

Subpart F—Fees for Health Care Services

549.70
Purpose and scope.
549.71
Inmates affected.
549.72
Services provided without fees.
549.73
Appealing the fee.
549.74
Inmates without funds.
Purpose and scope.

(a) The Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) may, under certain circumstances, charge you, an inmate under our care and custody, a fee for providing you with health care services.

(b) Generally, if you are an inmate as described in § 549.71, you must pay a fee for health care services of $2.00 per health care visit if you:

(1) Receive health care services in connection with a health care visit that you requested, (except for services described in § 549.72); or

(2) Are found responsible through the Disciplinary Hearing Process to have injured an inmate who, as a result of the injury, requires a health care visit.

Inmates affected.

This subpart applies to:

(a) Any individual incarcerated in an institution under the Bureau's jurisdiction; or

(b) Any other individual, as designated by the Director, who has been charged with or convicted of an offense against the United States.

Services provided without fees.

We will not charge a fee for:

(a) Health care services based on staff referrals;

(b) Staff-approved follow-up treatment for a chronic condition;

(c) Preventive health care services;

(d) Emergency services;

(e) Prenatal care;

(f) Diagnosis or treatment of chronic infectious diseases; (g) Mental health care; or

(g) Mental health care; or

(h) Substance abuse treatment.

Appealing the fee.

You may seek review through the Bureau's Administrative Remedy Program (see 28 CFR part 542) if you disagree with either the fee charge or the amount.

Inmates without funds.

You will not be charged a health care service fee if you are considered indigent and unable to pay the health care service fee. The Warden may establish rules and processes to prevent abuses of this provision.

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[FR Doc. 02-25850 Filed 10-9-02; 8:45 am]

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