The Kansas Supreme Court ruled today the Kansas Highway Patrol is responsible for the medical bills owed to KU Med Center for treatment of a person taken into custody by the Highway Patrol.
SYLLABUS BY THE COURT
1. The plain language of K.S.A. 22-4612(a) imposes a duty on the Kansas Highway Patrol to reimburse a health care provider for services provided to an indigent person in the custody of the Kansas Highway Patrol. K.S.A. 22-4612(a) supersedes the holding in Wesley Med. Center v. City of Wichita, 237 Kan. 807, 703 P.2d 818 (1985), which rejected custody as the touchstone for determining if a law enforcement agency must pay for a prisoner's medical treatment.
2. Under K.S.A. 22-4612(a), the obligation of one of the statutorily specified governmental entities, such as the Kansas Highway Patrol, to pay for the medical expenses of an indigent criminal offender is initially triggered by the entity having custody of the indigent offender at the time the decision is made to obtain medical treatment for the offender.
3. A person is in custody when under arrest, although arrest might not always be necessary to establish custody.
See Case Law Warnings and Links Here