FAQs: Medical Services

Q:  I have questions concerning my loved one’s medical care; whom should I contact?
A:  Contact the Health Care Administrator at your loved one’s institution.  Please be aware that medical information can only be relayed to the official Next Of Kin.

Q: I am not my loved one’s official Next Of Kin, so I can’t get anyone to give me any medical information!  What do I need to do to be named Next Of Kin?

A: Your incarcerated loved one can name any one person as their Next Of Kin at any time.  To do so, your loved one needs to fill out a new Notification of and Communication with Next of Kin form (DRC5328) and turn it into the unit staff or institutional Medical Services staff.  For more information, ODRC policy 66-ILL-03 (Notification of and Communication with Next of Kin – Inmate Illness/Injury) can be accessed here.   

Q: Does the ODRC employ licensed/certified medical providers? 

A: Yes, the ODRC medical care staff include Ohio-licensed physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, dieticians, dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants.   

Q: Can my loved one see a doctor if he/she has an acute medical issue, like a cold, a rash, or pain issues? 

A: Yes, the ODRC provides access to Nurse’s Sick Call and Doctor’s Sick appointments.  Your loved one just needs to complete a Health Services Request form (DRC5373) and drop it into a designated Health Services Request collection box at the institution.   

Q: What happens if my loved one has a medical emergency at the institution? 

A: Every ODRC institution provides 24-hour emergency medical care.  Licensed medical staff are capable of administering emergency care/life-saving measures on-site.  In the event that additional emergency care is needed, the ODRC can transfer your loved one to a local hospital emergency service department.  For more information, ODRC policy 68-MED-20 (Emergency Services) may be accessed here.       

Q: Can I send in my loved one his/her prescription medication or medical device?

A: Inmates generally do not have the option to purchase or receive prescription medication or medically related items from outside sources. Certain medically indicated devices may be authorized on a case-by-case basis. Contact the Health Care Administrator at your loved one’s institution to discuss options.   For more information, ODRC policy 68-MED-01 (Medical Services) can be accessed here.     

Q: Does my loved one have to have money to see the doctor? 

A: All inmates with medical needs will have appropriate and reasonable access to health care services, regardless of financial status. Co-pays are administered in certain situations, but no inmate will be denied health care or treatment because of inability to pay.  For more information, ODRC policy 68-MED-15 (Bureau of Medical Services Co-Payment Procedures) can be accessed here.