153A-225.2. Payment of medical care of prisoners.

(a) Counties shall reimburse those providers and facilities providing requested or emergency medical care outside of the local confinement facility the lesser amount of either a rate of seventy percent (70%) of the provider's then-current prevailing charge or two times the then-current Medicaid rate for any given service. Each county shall have the right to audit any provider from whom the county has received a bill for services under this section but only to the extent necessary to determine the actual prevailing charge to ensure compliance with this section.

(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county from contracting with a provider for services at rates that provide greater documentable cost avoidance for the county than do the rates contained in subsection (a) of this subsection or at rates that are less favorable to the county but that will ensure the continued access to care.

(c) The county shall make reasonable efforts to equitably distribute prisoners among all hospitals or other appropriate health care facilities located within the same county and shall do so based upon the licensed acute care bed capacity at each of the hospitals located within the same county. Counties with more than one hospital or other appropriate health care facility shall provide semiannual reports conspicuously posted on the county's Web site that detail compliance with this section, including information on the distribution of prisoner health care services among different hospitals and health care facilities.

(d) For the purposes of this section, "requested or emergency medical care" shall include all medically necessary and appropriate care provided to an individual from the time that individual presents to the provider or facility in the custody of county law enforcement officers until the time that the individual is safely transferred back to the care of county law enforcement officers or medically discharged to another community setting, as appropriate. (2013-387, s. 1.)