The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee considered Senate Bill 855 sponsored by Senator Christopher Shank. Under the current law, counties are responsible for up to $25,000 of an inmate’s medical expenses. The state reimburses counties for all of the costs greater than $25,000. The bill proposes that a county is not responsible for the cost of medical care for an inmate associated with a specified preexisting condition or an injury that is self-inflicted during the inmate’s commitment in the facility. Local correctional officials testified in support of the bill.
According to the Herald Mail , Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said the county spent more than $360,000 in the last fiscal year on care for inmates with pre-existing medical conditions.
That included bypass surgery for an inmate who had a heart condition when he was incarcerated. Mullendore, representing the Maryland Sheriffs Association, said the surgery cost about $160,000. Washington County had to cover the first $25,000 and send two officers to accompany him, he said.