California prison administrators are attempting to revamp health care services to inmates and streamline responses to their medical complaints.
By law, inmates have a right to file grievances, and they may grieve any results they find unsatisfactory.
The new regulations are geared to provide the following services:
Instruct inmates how to appropriately prepare and submit health care grievances and grievance appeals
Establish a process for the department to hire 36 Registered Nurses to advocate on behalf of inmate/patients by conducting clinical triages for early intervention to health care concerns
Registered Nurses would also determine the necessity of a clinical review of health care grievances and grievance appeals
Eliminate one institutional level of review
Eliminate the cancellation of health care grievances and grievance appeals
Instruct health care staff how to process health care grievances and grievance appeals submitted by inmates who are paroled, discharged or deceased following the filing of a health care grievance or health care appeal
The new procedures are expected to cut 51 calendar days out of the appeals process
Prison administrators say the new regulations and procedures will benefit the Department and patients
By ensuring treatment, in a timely manner, of needs requiring medical intervention
By getting rid of redundancy, unnecessary delays and inconsistencies in processing health care complaints, while ensuring accountability, documentation and smoother processing of health care grievances and grievance appeals
And, by guaranteeing due process rights to any inmate/patient who disagrees with a decision regarding his or her health care services
In developing the new regulations and procedures, the department said it took the best practices from the federal prison grievance and appeal system, as well as prisons in Florida, Texas and Michigan.
Officials estimate that the new regulations and procedures would save California taxpayers $5.4 million.
The hearing is scheduled to take place on Oct. 25, 10 to 11 a.m. at Elk Grove Police Service Center; Elk Grove City Council Chambers, 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, CA 95758.
Public comments must be submitted to California Correctional Health Care Services, Health Care Regulations and Policy Section before Oct. 25, 5 p.m at:
Mail: P.O. Box 588500,
Elk Grove, CA 95758