Archive 12/25/2021

COVID In Prison: Vaccines – mAb. What Are Your Client’s Fears? “A New COVID Drug Category – Antivirals Could Be The Holy Grail”

Globally, since 2020, we have all been waiting on science for an answer. Their efforts have led to the development of a new generation of Vaccines: (mRNA), along with the traditional J&J. Now, to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Clinical Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines and other therapies.  

I. BOP Vaccination Policy 10/13/2021

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Per The BOP, vaccination supplies initially may be limited, and will be dispensed according to the BOP COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance Manual; October 13, 2021. This though does not take into account the new variants that may continue to evolve.

For Inmates Who Are:

·      Waiting to get their Covid Vaccine while pending a Court-Ordered Release or Transfer,

They may be vaccinated either:

1.    By using a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or

2.    By using a multi-dose series on a case-by-case basis, or

3.    But if there is insufficient time to complete a multi-dose series, it should only be started if the final dose can be verified that it can be completed at the receiving location.

Each BOP facility will (Page 3).

1.         Create and implement a COVID-19 immunization plan to offer the vaccine (1-dose or 2-dose, initial primary series) for,

2.  Develop a plan for when, and by whom staff and inmates will be screened and scheduled for the vaccine, and

3.  Ensure that responsibility is assigned to health care personnel for patient assessment and vaccine administration.

4.   For the 2-dose vaccination series, a medical hold should be placed in the inmate’s electronic health record until the due date of the second dose. This is to keep them from being transferred or released before the last dose is given.

5.   For Third doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, page 5 [See Appendix], in immunocompromised persons: they should be offered a third dose at least 28 days after 2nd mRNA dose. 

The Three Vaccines available in the BOP Will be Given In The Priority Level Order, # 1-3 (page 5)

Pfizer (page 3):

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty®) – an mRNA vaccine 

Priority Level 1:

·      Inmates assigned as health service unit workers,

·      Inmates in health service unit job assignments,

·      Inmates in nursing care centers (long-term care) or other residential health care units.

Priority Level 2: Inmates aged 65 years and older or those of any age with underlying medical conditions.

Priority Level 3: All other inmates.

Fact Sheets for the approved* and EUA-authorized Vaccines,

For recipients, caregivers, and healthcare providers administering vaccines. [see appendix]

COVID-19 FDA, Approved:

·      For persons 16 years of age and older: 2-dose primary series

·      Should be offered a booster dose at least 6 months after the second dose.

COVID-19 FDA, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA):

·      For persons 12 to 15 years of age: 2-dose primary series.

·      Third dose for certain immunocompromised persons.

·      Single booster dose for certain non-immunocompromised persons.

 Moderna, (page 3)

Fact Sheets for the approved* and EUA-authorized Recipients, For caregivers, and healthcare providers administering vaccines [see Appendix]

COVID-19 FDA, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA):

·      For persons 18 years of age and older: 2-dose primary series.

·      Third dose for certain immunocompromised persons.

J&J, (page 4)

Fact Sheets for the approved* and EUA-authorized [see Appendix] Recipients, caregivers, and healthcare providers administering vaccines

COVID-19 FDA, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA):

·      For persons 18 years of age and older: 1 dose required

II. Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Drug Therapy for COVID-19, BOP Clinical Guidance, 08/2021.

1. Mitigate the need for hospitalizations, ICU and O2 Ventilators

2. After exposure, and quickly implemented before a positive COVID-19 test.

3. At 1st glance it appears that the mAb medications are not on the most recent:

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  • Or their BOP Health Services, National Formulary Part II, Lists (above, again, here too I could be wrong, as they appear to be available, just not listed).

The BOP Monoclonal Antibody (mAb) Therapy, Clinical Guidance COVID-19, 08/2021.

BOP Nurse Charting is very good (page 14), as they use the same S.O.A.P. Note Format that we have all been taught for patent encounters. It’s a good thing to know if you are not already familiar with it. Because medicine, like law, even if treatment (or work) was done, if it was not documented, then it will not be believed as performed, and vice versa.

Subjective: The Inmate/Patient Complaints (in terms of their current condition, function, activity level, disability, symptoms, social history, family history, employment status, and environmental history).

Objective: What the healthcare provider gathers from their exam, labs, X-rays, physical findings, observations and talking, etc.

Assessment: At the end of the encounter, their detailed notes will either support Inclusion Criteria or Exclusion Criteria (see included tables), with regards to the Inmate/patient qualifying (or not) for Monoclonal Antibody Treatment. Regarding a diagnosis, here there may be multiple.

Plan: If Inclusion Criteria have been met, informed consent for mAb needs to be gotten. All mAb requires a non-formulary request to be submitted and approved.

All Criteria must be met for (mAb) Treatment:

·      Positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and

·      A clinical presentation of mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, and

·      Symptom onset within the 10 days preceding mAb treatment and

·      Risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness (see Risk Factors for Severe COVID-19 Illness), and

·      Age ≥ 12 years old; weight ≥ 40 kg (88 lb)

Treatment symptoms to look for, within 10 days of (mAb) treatment.

·      Fever

·      Cough

·      Sore throat

·      Malaise

·      Headache

·      Muscle pain

·      Gastrointestinal symptoms

·      Shortness of breath with exertion.

At a minimum‘1’ of the following must be present to qualify for treatment.

·      Body mass index (BMI) ≥25

·      Chronic kidney disease (CKD)

·      Type 1 or type 2 diabetes

·      Immunosuppressive disease

·      ≥ 65 years of age

·      Currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment

·      Cardiovascular disease (CVD) or hypertension

·      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other chronic respiratory diseases

·      Sickle cell disease

·      Neurodevelopmental disorders or other conditions that confer medical complexity

·      Medical-related technological dependence (i.e. tracheostomy, gastrostomy, positive pressure ventilation not related to COVID-19)

·      Oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≤ 93% on room air

·      Respiratory rate ≥ 30 per minute

·      Heart rate ≥125 per minute

Patients must have positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing no more than 10 days before starting the mAb infusion 

All of these Tests are acceptable for confirming COVID:

·      Commercial lab PCR test,

·      A rapid PCR test (Abbott ID Now) or

·      Rapid Ag test (BinaxNOW) 

III. Monoclonal Antibody Medications:

1)    REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together),

When there is a Limited Supply, The BOP has created: PATIENT CRITERIA LEVELS (Page 5) to determine who gets treated.

PRIORITY 1, Patient Criteria:

• Three or more risk factors for progression to severe disease or

• ≤ 3 days of symptoms or

• Any one of the following risk factors:

1.   Body mass index (BMI) ≥35, or

2.   Type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or

3.   ≥ 65 years of age. 

PRIORITY 2, Patient Criteria:

• Two or more risk factors (from PRIORITY 1) for progression to severe disease. 

PRIORITY 3, Patient Criteria:

• One risk factor for progression to severe disease

• Contact the Regional Medical Director (RMD) to discuss any proposed deviation from the below criteria.

• Submission and approval of a non-formulary request is required before initiation of any mAb for COVID

2)    Tocilizumab (Actemra) – hospitalized patients only

3)    Sotrovimab – hospitalized patients only

4)    Baracitinib (works better with either Tocilizumab or Remdesivir)

Where: Treatment Is NOT‘ Indicated.

·      Pregnancy and lactation: considered on a case-by-case basis

·      Allergies to any of the medication ingredients

·      Hospitalized due to COVID-19

·      Require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, OR

·      Require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19.

·      For those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19 related comorbidity, these Inmates/Patients should be considered for hospital transport.

IV. Antivirals: The “holy grail” of viral therapeutics, The Atlantic 11/29/2021

“Until now, the only outpatient therapeutic for COVID-19 has been monoclonal antibody treatments, which are effective in preventing severe disease in high-risk patients. “The New COVID Drugs Are a Bigger Deal Than People Realize”.

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Photo Credit, The Atlantic

Merck’s molnupiravir (EAU for mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 who were not hospitalized). Initially, in Nature, 10/8/2021, Merck’s antiviral was touted as it may cut hospitalizations and deaths among people with COVID-19 by half. Recently, on November 26, 2021, Merck revealed its Covid antiviral treatment is less effective than first thought. Full analysis of their trial results shows Molnupiravir had a risk reduction of 30%, Reuters.

Pfizer’s Oral Antiviral PAXLOVID™ (“Potential Game-Changer in the pandemic”), Reduced The Risk Of Hospitalization or Death By 89%.

Appendix:

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In closing, we believe that the responsibility for a client’s Mental and Physical Health should be safeguarded to protect them from themselves and others, …while providing a safe environment for the duration of their incarceration. This is the responsibility of the Court, Defense Team, and BOP.

If this was helpful, please share it with your colleagues. With more to follow, should you have any questions, are interested in engaging my services, or have any ideas for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

 

 

 

Marc

  • email, info@PPRSUS.com, or
  • Voice: 240-888-7778.
  • Or through my website: PPRSUS.com

I also have a 50+ minute PowerPoint (which time-wise, can be adjusted to meet your needs), for groups, some of the topics covered:

  • COVID
  • Medical History
  • Medication Availability
  • Dementia Wing- 1 Facility, with 35 beds
  • Security Level / Public Safety Factors
  • Medical and Mental Healthcare, CARE LEVEL I-IV
  • Psychology Programs Availability (Security Level Specific)
  • Military Veteran-1 facility with 1 wing, where Veterans Train Service Guide Dogs for other Veterans With PTSD or other disabilities.

Copyright © 2021-2022 Physician Presentence Report Service, LLC, (PPRS Disclaimer)

LinkedIn Original

COVID-19; as we approach the Holidays and 2022, there are signs of hope!

This is just an opinion of the author. While COVID-19 and its variants appear here to stay, the unvaccinated are the most likely to be facing its more serious side. Photo Credit, CDC, 8-24-2021

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While it is true, that even with being vaccinated you may develop symptoms and test positive for COVID, it is not likely that you will be facing hospitalization and fatal disease.

For years, when we have had the flu, if it was bad enough and caught early, Tamiflu, an oral pill started within 48 hours of symptoms, shortened its duration. Reviewing my previous newsletter,

  1. A New Classification Of COVID Drugs are about to see the light of day and “Are a Bigger Deal Than People Realize”; Antivirals (“holy grail”):

Available in oral pill form, like Tamiflu, these antivirals can be taken within days of a positive COVID diagnosis. They could be made easily available to both those incarcerated as well as in the general population. Taken at home over approximately 7 days, they work to shorten the course of the disease, obviating the need for hospitalizations. A very big deal for the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike, but they do not take the place of vaccines.

Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral oral pil‘Paxlovid’, Near 90% protective against hospitalization, death and retains its effectiveness against Omicron, December 14, 2021 (Reuters). Pfizer said it would grant a license for their antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries.

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Merck’Molnupiravir, while < 50% effective, is allowing generic drug makers royalty-free license to manufacture its oral COVID-19 antiviral pill. The FDA advisory committee narrowly voted in favor of a EUA, 13-10, but even those who voted yes acknowledged the modest efficacy and safety concerns.

Further, a loose alliance of big pharma companies including Gilead, Novartis, Schrödinger, Takeda Pharmaceutical, and WuXi AppTec, all have formed to share ideas, resources, and data to develop custom pan-coronavirus antivirals. The overarching goal is for the scientific community to come up with a solution to this—or the next—pandemic.

2. GlaxoSmithKline and Vir’s “Sotrovimab (on the BOP Formulary), “is the first monoclonal antibody to record demonstrated activity against all” (SARS CoV-2 which developed into) COVID-19, then mutating into its “variants of concern and interest to date, including omicron”.

Masks (N95) along with others, recommended by the CDC offer protection against all variants. Yes, while none of us want to wear them, and ‘this COVID thing’ is getting old, this is nothing that if hospitalized, anyone of us would want to take the chance of dying with.

IV) Definitions:

Pandemic: when diseases spread rapidly, crossing countries borders, globally

Endemic: when the spreading is more localized, like the flu.

 

I believe that the responsibility for a client’s Mental and Physical Health should be safeguarded to protect them from themselves and others, …while providing a safe environment for the duration of their incarceration. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the Court, Defense Team, and BOP.

If this was helpful, please share it with your colleagues. With more to follow, should you have any questions, are interested in engaging my services, or have any ideas for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

Wishing you and your families a safe and healthy Holiday Season and New Years

Marc

Dr. Blatstein

No alt text provided for this image
  • email, info@PPRSUS.com,
  • Voice: 240-888-7778.
  • Or through my website: PPRSUS.com

Plus a 50+ minute PowerPoint (which time-wise, can be adjusted to meet your needs), for groups, some of the topics covered:

  • COVID
  • Medical History
  • Medication Availability
  • Dementia Wing- 1 Facility, 35 beds
  • Security Level / Public Safety Factors
  • Medical and Mental Healthcare, CARE LEVEL I-IV
  • Psychology Programs Availability (Security Level Specific)
  • Military Veteran-1 facility with 1 wing, Veterans Train Service Guide Dogs for Other Vets With PTSD  or other Disabilities

Copyright © 2021-2022 Physician Presentence Report Service, LLC, (PPRS Disclaimer)

As seen on LinkedIn

The 2020 BOP Formulary: Are Your Clients Medications Available?

 The 2020 BOP Formulary

The 2020 BOP Formulary

Like most insurance companies, the BOP has established a 3-tier formulary consisting of approximately 3500 medications, for which they’re available based on cost-containment measures.

Noted above, is The BOP’s most recent 2020 Drug Formulary which consists of approximately 3500 medications in toto, giving the defense team the ability to identify those medications specific to their client’s needs, to be checked against their client’s medications before the PSR, and PSI are completed. Without detailed knowledge of these medications, the defendant could face an interruption in their medical care which could at worse, affect his/her life.

If your client was previously treated with a specific generic medication before entering the BOP, while they may receive the same generic medication, it will likely differ in color, size, and shape once incarcerated as there are many generic manufactures for a single brand drug. Informing your client about how these same medications may differ before they’re incarcerated can go a long way to allaying their fears.

Tier I: On Formulary

The BOP’s first tier of drugs, considered on the formulary, is available once prescribed by a physician in the BOP, after examining the inmate and reviewing their PSR medical records which contain his initial physician prescribing records (Blatstein et al., 2021). At this point, all inmates are just a “number”, to be seen, evaluated, and then move on.

 Tier II: Non-Formulary (Requires a lengthy preauthorization process)

The second level of medications available in the BOP is known as non-formulary medications. While these are available, it’s only after a lengthy preauthorization process which at best could take up to 6 months or longer. For these reasons, defense counsel must ensure that a client’s medical records have been provided in full to the BOP and the current treating physician, preferably before the sentencing hearing (as well as before the PSR and PSI have both been formally been completed), has actively participated in the PSR (and Sentencing Memorandum if necessary), to ensure a smooth transition to enable the preapproval of any non-formulary medications for your client (Blatstein et al., 2021).

Should their medication be on the Non-Formulary Tier, the participation of the current treating physician before the PSR (and PSI) needs to persuade the Court and BOP Physician’s thus circumventing the pre-authorization process, eliminating the waiting time, providing the medications upon arrival at the institution (Blatstein et al., 2021).

Tier III: Not Available

The BOP third tier (“prescribing a drug that is therapeutically equivalent to, but chemically different from, the drug originally prescribed by a physician”) is meant to “reduce costs, increase workplace efficiency, enhance medication access, and improve inventory management” (Federal Bureau of Prisons Health Services [BOPHS], 2020a). Again, working with your client’s current treating physician and allowing them to review all of the medications available on the BOP’s entire list may provide you with two options:

1) They may find an appropriate substitute medication

2) Both you and the current treating physician may have to begin to include in your defense strategy either a reason as to why this meets:

2a) the minimum  “Medical standard of care”, which is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice, or if this is not possible and the client’s life is at risk, or

2b) Requesting home confinement to protect their life.

Epipen®: is an example of a medication that the BOP may issue to inmates to carry on their person who has known anaphylaxis, (BOP, Page 6).

Self-Surrender and Perscriptions (Documentation for all of them should be in the PSR and PSI)

For all prescriptions: Medications (I recommend bringing a month’s supply), Medical Devices (CPAP, BiPAP), Orthotics, Prosthetics, Glasses, False teeth, A Service Animal, Hearing aids, …you get the picture. If you surrender on a holiday or weekend, the BOP may keep them. Otherwise, the worse that can happen is that they throw some away, but now at least you and your attorney now have a paper trail to work with.

As seen in LinkedIn

Dr. Blatstein, 240.888.7778, info@pprsus.com, PPRS © 2021/2022

Healthcare in the BOP

Medical Care in the BOP

For the majority, they’ll be serving some time. Developing a strategy for sentencing that includes their Medical-Healthcare CARE LEVEL I-IV in your PSR is best started before the PSI.

As a physician with an active license, and who personally has been through this, and if you’re open, let us help your client (and their family) through this fearful and life-altering event.


#BOPMedicalCare #PSR #FederalDefense #PresentenceReport #Prison #PrisonPlacement

Seen in LinkedIn

PPRS ‘Attorney-Client’ PSR Intake Form

PPSR Attorney-Client PSR Intake Form

PPSR ‘Attorney-Client’ PSR Intake Form

Your client’s been indicted,
For the majority, statistics show they’ll be serving time. Developing a strategy for sentencing and the placement request can be best started before the PSI.

As a physician with an active license, and who personally has been through this, and if you’re open, let us help your client (and their family) through this fearful and life-altering event.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-m-blatstein-39042916b/detail/recent-activity/

#PSR #FederalDefense #PresentenceReport #Prison #PrisonPlacement

 

 

Federal Sentencing: From PSR Preparation To Providing An Appropriate BOP Placement Request

Preparing for the Sentencing Hearing, in some cases should start as soon as possible.
Why?
a) Depending on if it’s a state or federal case, there may only be only weeks after the guilty verdict to start.
b) Getting all medical records via a HIPPA release can take a long time as some physicians and hospitals are very busy. HIPAA COMPLIANT AUTHORIZATION FOR THE RELEASE OF PATIENT INFORMATION PURSUANT TO 45 CFR 164.508.
c) Coordinating character references, expert witnesses, and documentation for their PSR all takes time.
d) Developing the post guilty verdict case regarding recommendations for placement takes time.

I- The Presentence Report is used by;
1st) Judges
To establish the length of the sentence,
Has the option to make a placement request.

2nd) The BOP, For Facility Placement.

3rd) Probation Uses it during Supervised Release.

4th) It then becomes a permanent part of the defendant’s record.

5th) Lastly, for inmates, it’s referred to as the ‘Inmates Bible’.

II) Sentence Length Determined By The Court
USSC Sentencing Table (Point Based), [2018, CHAPTER 5: SENTENCING TABLE]
Offense Level (0-43+): *24+ categories.

Vs
Criminal History (0-13+)
Points for each prior sentence > 1 Year + 1 Month.
Points for each prior sentence > 60 days, not counted above.
Point for each prior sentence, <= 60 days not counted above; for up to a maximum of 4 points in this category.
Points for each revocation that has a new charge or occurs under federal supervision.
Point for each prior sentence resulting from a conviction of a crime of violence that did not receive any points as noted above because such sentence was treated as a single sentence, up to a total of 3 points for this subsection.

III) BOP Determines Placement Designation
1st) Healthcare: provided based on a CARE LEVEL I-IV Structure
Applies to Medical and Mental Healthcare CARE LEVELs.
Psychology and Life Skills National Programs; limited availability with associated security requirements.
There are approximately 3000 Medications in the BOP, which fall into 3 tiers. PPRS Prison Match™ has all of these drugs categorized by tier level should this applies to your client.
Is a special diet requested?
Allergies: all need to be documented in the PSR.

2nd) Non-Medical Placement is based on;
Bed Space Availability. 
Aspirational: placement within 500 driving miles of legal residence.
Population Management; some inmates, for specified reasons, need to be monitored or separated from others.

2a) Public Safety Factors (PSF) & Management Variables [P5100.08, CN-I, 9/4/2019, Tables: Chapter 5, pages 12-13]
Could a Public Safety Factor (PSF: Chapter 4, pages 5-13) warrant a reduced security level?
Accepting Responsibility (gets point reductions).
Voluntary Surrender (gets point reductions).
Drug / Alcohol Abuse.
RDAP; within 1 year prior to date arrested (illegal or legal medications or drugs).
AGE: 55+ (0Pts), 36-54 (2pts), 25-35 (4pts), <25 (8pts), Unknown (8pts).
Education Level: High School (0pts), GED Progress (1pt), No degree (2pts).

Sentence Length
>10 years – Low
>20 yrs – Medium, (Females: High)
>30 yrs – High

Disruptive Group
Male inmates will be housed in a High-security level institution unless the PSF has been waived.

Greatest Severity Offense
Male will be housed in at least a Low-security level institution unless the PSF has been waived.

Threat to Government Official
Male or female will be housed in at least a Low.

Deportable Alien: (male inmate who is not a citizen will be housed in at least a Low).

History Violent Behavior
A female inmate whose current term of confinement or history involves two convictions or findings – Low.

Serious Escape
A female, serious escape with the last 10 yrs. designated to Carswell Adm. Unit, unless the PSF has been waived.
A male inmate with or without the threat of violence or escapes housed in at least a Medium.

Juvenile Violence
A male or female who has any documented:
a) Violent behavior, past or present, which resulted in a conviction, delinquency adjudication, or finding of guilt.
b) Violence: aggressive behavior causing bodily harm, death, or behavior likely to cause serious bodily harm. 

Serious Phone Abuse
a) A male or female who utilizes the telephone to further criminal activities or Promote Illicit Organizations.
b) Conviction is Not Required, housed at least in a Low.
c) The PSF should be entered regarding any one of the following, if applicable.

Criminal acts conducted by telephone
-Leader/Organizer or primary motivator; or
a) communicate threats of bodily injury, death, assaults, or homicides.
b) conducts Fraudulent activity (actual or attempted) in an institution.
-Leader / Organizer who used the telephone to conduct fraudulent activity (actual or attempted)…
a) Smuggled narcotics or alcohol into a prison.
-Federal Law Enforcement notifies the BOP of concern and needs to monitor an inmate’s telephone calls…
a) The inmate has been found guilty of a 100 or 200 level offense code for telephone abuse.
b) A Bureau of Prisons official has reasonable suspicion and/or documented intelligence supporting telephone abuse.

Prison Disturbance
A male or female inmate who was involved in a serious incident of violence; Engaging / Encouraging a Riot:
a) Males will be housed in at least a HIGH-security level institution and
b) Females will be assigned to the Carswell Adm. Unit.

2b) Plus
a) Judicial Recommendations
b) Options For Work Cadre Participation (at secure facilities without satellite camps), where the inmate is allowed to work outside the perimeter of the institution.
c) PSF Waved: An inmate may receive up to three Public Safety Factors (PSFs) wavers.
d) Long Term Detainee transfers for positive or negative behavior may cause placement in a facility different from scored security or custody level.

IV) Making The Placement Request
In recommending a facility placement, it’s helpful to provide a reason, for example:
To facilitate regular family visitation, or
To permit participation in a specific:
a) Medical CARE LEVEL
b) Mental Healthcare CARE LEVEL
c) Psychology and/or Life Skills National Programs; limited in availability and has associated security requirements.
d) Vocational Training Program
e) UNICOR job availability

V) Military: Is your client a Veteran?
If possible, connect your client with a facility that caters to veterans.
FCI Morgantown started a Veterans to Veterans Service Dog Training Program in 2016.
The Participants are federally imprisoned military veterans who are housed in a special wing that is responsible for training service guide dogs, for veterans who have mobility impairments, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), or other military service missions.

If you’d like to discuss this, I look forward to speaking with you.

Dr. Blatstein                                                                                                                            Physician Presentence Report Service                                                      https://twitter.com/PPRSLLC

 

While In The BOP Your Client Needs A Medical Second Opinion – The Process

If your client is lucky enough to get approval, they still may face months (or possibly years) to get to see and then be treated by that specialist. Having their condition noted in their PSR along with their treating physicians’ recommendations included may prove helpful here. Taking all of this into account, the BOP is under no obligation to follow the consulting physician’s treatment recommendations; Program Statement P6031.04 (Pg. 20-21).

Taken from my article below; The Federal Lawyer, Jan/Feb. 2021 (Pages 45-46), I review the process that the BOP uses to provide care. Briefly, they’re based either on their definition of medical need, treatment cost, staff availability to accompany the inmate to see the physician, and how close the inmate is to their release date.

 

  1. Life-Threatening Conditions

Treatment for life-threatening conditions is essential to sustain the life or function of a critical bodily system and requires immediate attention.

The BOP refers to these conditions as “Medically Necessary–Acute or Emergent” and includes the following conditions in this category: heart attacks, severe trauma such as head injury, hemorrhage, stroke, detached retina, sudden vision loss, and complications of pregnancy or labor.7

   2. Medically Necessary Conditions

The BOP defines this category to include conditions that are not immediately life-threatening but which without treatment now, the inmate could not be maintained without significant risk of:

• Serious deterioration leading to premature death.                                                                                      • Significant reduction in the possibility of repair later without present treatment.                               • Significant pain or discomfort that impairs the inmate’s participation in activities of daily living.8

Examples of conditions the BOP includes here are chronic conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease,
  • Diabetes; severe mental health issues (e.g., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia);
  • Infectious disorders (e.g., HIV, tuberculosis); and cancer.9

   3. Medically Necessary but Not Urgent

The BOP defines this category as “Medically Acceptable—Not Always Necessary.”10 The group includes conditions for which “treatment may improve the inmate’s quality of life.”11 Examples of treatments for conditions in this category, as listed in the BOP, Policy on Patient Care, include:

  • Joint replacements,
  • Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee, and treatment of:
  • Noncancerous skin conditions.12

Such treatment procedures require review and approval by the institution’s Utilization Review Committee, which considers various factors, including:

  • Risks and benefits of the treatment,
  • Available resources (including the cost of security staffing and transportation),
  • The inmate patient’s medical history, and
  • How intervention (or lack thereof) will impact the inmate’s activities of daily living.13

Should an outside specialist consult be needed for a non-emergent condition, a referral request is made to the prison’s Utilization Review Committee and clinical director. Other members involved in this decision-making process include:

  • The associate warden or warden,
  • Health service administrator or assistant,
  • The medical trip coordinator,
  • Any health care providers directly involved in the referral, and perhaps:
  • The director of nursing and
  • The chaplain or a social worker.14

 

The clinical director has the final say over all Utilization Review Committee decisions.15 If approved, the inmate-patient will be placed on a schedule or waitlisted until the specialist has an opening during the contract’s limited monthly hours, which may be several months or years later.

Notably, the clinical director is under no obligation to follow medical recommendations made by the outside physician consultant specialist. If the recommendations are not followed, the clinical director will document his/her justification in the inmate health record.16 Justification may be based on the category of care sought.

  1. Medically Appropriate

Some treatments, even though recommended by a health care provider and deemed appropriate by the clinical director, still require approval by the Utilization Review Committee, which is not likely to be granted. These treatments are considered by the BOP to have “limited medical value” and include cosmetic procedures and removal of noncancerous skin lesions.17 It is worth noting that some skin lesions may be misdiagnosed, so the denial of treatment for these appropriate medical procedures is a concern for inmates with such health needs. 

  1. Extraordinary Treatments

The BOP considers a medical treatment extraordinary if it “affect[s] the life of another individual, such as organ transplantation.”18 Thus, organ transplants and experimental/investigational treatments require the approval of the Utilization Review Committee, which is not likely to be granted.

If you’d like to discuss this, I look forward to speaking with you.

BOP: Self-Surrender, Ensuring a smooth transition

Avoid a stay in Solitary Confinement,
‘Self-Surrendering Successfully’ in the BOP.

Before the sentencing hearing.

1.     Ensure accuracy of the PSR.

2.     Verify public safety factors (PSFs) to ensure appropriate security levels. These could include or preclude camp placement for otherwise qualified defendants.

3.     Counsel should consult with the client to determine:

•       Which facility the client prefers.

•       Appropriately calculated security level verified.

•       Submit the proposed recommendation to the prosecutor to get their Non-Objection.

•       The Non-Objection then gets submitted to the court and clerk at sentencing.

•       PSR Accuracy.

a.     Formal findings are made by the judge: Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(c)(1) and attached to the PSR before it is forwarded to the BOP.

b.     Findings are made in the “Statement of Reasons” (sealed form), the section of the judgment will also suffice.

c.     Check that the clerk prepares the judgment correctly including your SOR content.

d.     Criminal history score may not change a defendant’s score, but it can negatively impact prison designation.

After sentencing with the designation made:

·       Review with the defendant information such as nearby hotels, visiting hours, mail, commissary, telephone, items that are allowed in prison, etc.

What the defendant can bring with them:

1.     Basic wedding band, Bible.

2.     Prescriptions for medications (4 weeks recommended, at worst they are thrown out, at best they are available for your use. When surrendering on weekends or holidays the BOP may allow these to be used if not available from their onsite pharmacy), medical devices, and glasses (that are not made with metal).

3.     ID: birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and social security card.

4.     Cash; $320 ($370 in November and December), then use either Money Gram or

Western Union for monthly deposits.

5.     Legal papers.

6.     List of personal names (including phone numbers and addresses).

A copy of the article can be found in LinkedIN

Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison: The Critical Role of the Presentence Report

Availability of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison

The Federal Lawyer Jan./Feb. 2021                    Availability of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison

 

 

The Critical Role of the Presentence Report
MARC BLATSTEIN, D.P.M.; FAY F. SPENCE, J.D.; E.J. HURST II, J.D.; AND MAUREEN BAIRD

Prisoners have a constitutional right to adequate medical care, but what that means and how to get needed treatment are often not well understood by attorneys representing criminal defendants.
This article attempts to address that knowledge deficit by explaining the medical, mental health, and substance abuse programs and policies in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), as well as some of the educational, vocational, and other available programs intended to rehabilitate inmates and prepare them for return to society. Equally important, the article explains the critical role of the presentence report (PSR) in determining whether and how needed treatment and programs will be available to a defendant. Documentation is paramount, and the diligent attorney must be proactive in gathering and supplying the appropriate documentation to the probation officer preparing the PSR and to the court, along with a sentencing memorandum advocating for the defendant’s desired sentencing outcome and institutional placement, supported by the sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).

Dr. Blatstein_The Federal Lawyer-The Critical Role Of The PSR_Jan-Feb 2021