Open States' stated mission is to improve civic engagement.
To be true to that goal, we can not stand by and be silent when a large portion of Americans face systemic racism and other forms of oppression. That oppression has meant being excluded from civic participation at the ballot box, being called un-American for peaceful protests, and being denied justice for crimes committed against them.
Existing law, the Telemedicine Development Act of 1996, regulates the practice of telemedicine, defined as the practice of health care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of medical data, and education using interactive audio, video, or data communications, by a health care practitioner, as defined. Existing law establishes that it is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation operate in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible when purchasing health care services for inmates.
This bill would state the Legislature's findings and declarations on the use of telemedicine in the state's prisons. This bill would require the department, by January 1, 2012, to include protocols within its existing guidelines for determining when telemedicine services are appropriate, and would require the department to require an operational telemedicine services program at all adult institutions by January 1, 2015. The bill would require the department to schedule a patient for an evaluation with a distant physician when it is determined to be medically necessary, and would allow the department to use telemedicine only when it is in the best interest of the health and safety of the inmate patient. The bill would require the department to ensure that telemedicine shall not be used to supplant civil service physicians and dentists.
The bill would require the department to report to the Legislature, as provided, by March 1, 2012, and every year thereafter, regarding the department's implementation of statewide telemedicine services. This bill would render this reporting requirement inoperative on March 1, 2017.