H.R. 5950 (110th): Detainee Basic Medical Care Act of 2008

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of May 01, 2008 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5950

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 1, 2008

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish procedures for the timely and effective delivery of medical and mental health care to all immigration detainees in custody, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Detainee Basic Medical Care Act of 2008.

2.

Medical care standards for immigration detainees of the Department of Homeland Security

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish procedures for the timely and effective delivery of medical and mental health care to all immigration detainees in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security. Such procedures shall address all immigration detainee health needs, including primary care, emergency care, chronic care, prenatal care, dental care, eye care, mental health care, medical dietary needs, and other medically necessary specialized care.

(b)

Medical screenings and examinations

The Secretary’s procedures shall be designed to ensure continuity of medical and mental health care services for each immigration detainee upon arrival at a detention facility. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that—

(1)

each immigration detainee receives a comprehensive medical and mental health intake screening by a qualified health care professional upon arrival at the facility;

(2)

each immigration detainee receives a comprehensive medical and mental health examination and assessment by a qualified health care professional not later than 14 days after arrival;

(3)

each immigration detainee taking prescribed medications prior to detention is allowed to continue taking such medications, on schedule and without interruption, until and unless a qualified health care professional examines the immigration detainee and decides upon an alternative course of treatment; and

(4)

subject to the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))), each immigration detainee with a serious medical or mental health care condition is given priority consideration for release on parole, on bond, or into an alternative to detention program, with periodic reevaluations for such immigration detainees not initially released.

(c)

Continuity of care

The Secretary’s procedures shall be designed to ensure continuity of medical and mental health care services for each immigration detainee throughout detention. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that—

(1)

immigration detainees are informed of available medical and mental health care services and how to request such services;

(2)

a prompt response is provided to any request for medical or mental health care;

(3)

treatment decisions are based solely on professional clinical judgments;

(4)

prescribed medications and medically necessary treatment are provided to immigration detainees on schedule and without interruption; and

(5)

the medical and mental health of an immigration detainee is considered prior to any decision to transfer the immigration detainee to another detention facility, and such immigration detainee suffers no interruption in the provision of medical treatment, including the delivery of prescribed medications, during and after such transfer.

(d)

Medical records

The Secretary’s procedures shall be designed to ensure the availability of medical records to appropriate personnel. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that—

(1)

immediately upon an immigration detainee’s transfer from one detention facility to another, the immigration detainee’s complete medical records, including any transfer summary, are provided to the receiving facility;

(2)

within 72 hours of receiving a written request, an immigration detainee’s complete medical records are provided to the immigration detainee or any person designated by the immigration detainee; and

(3)

an immigration detainee shall be provided the appropriate forms where necessary to comply with this subsection and relevant privacy laws.

(e)

Administrative appeals process

The Secretary’s procedures shall include an administrative appeals process for denials of medical or mental health care. At a minimum, such procedures shall be designed to ensure that—

(1)

the Secretary responds promptly to any request by an on-site medical provider for authorization to provide medical or mental health care to an immigration detainee;

(2)

in each case in which the Secretary denies or fails to grant such a request, a written explanation of the reasons for the decision shall be conveyed without delay to the on-site medical provider and the immigration detainee;

(3)

the on-site medical provider and immigration detainee (or legally appointed advocate) are provided an opportunity to appeal the denial of or failure to grant the requested health care service; and

(4)

such appeal is resolved in writing within 30 days by an impartial board, which shall include health care professionals in the fields relevant to the request for medical or mental health care, and the written decision is conveyed without delay to the on-site medical provider and the immigration detainee.

(f)

Discharge planning

The Secretary’s procedures shall include discharge planning to ensure continuity of care, for a reasonable period of time, upon removal or release for persons with serious medical or mental health conditions.

(g)

Reporting requirements

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall report to the Offices of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, within 48 hours, information regarding the death of any immigration detainee in the Secretary’s custody. Not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives containing detailed information regarding the death of all immigration detainees in the Secretary’s custody during the preceding fiscal year.

3.

Definitions

In this Act—

(1)

detention facility means any Federal, State, or local facility used by the Secretary of Homeland Security to hold immigration detainees for more than 72 hours, regardless of whether use of such facility is subject to a contract or other agreement.

(2)

immigration detainee means any person in the custody of the Secretary of Homeland Security under the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))) at any detention facility.