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NCCHC Accreditation Demonstrates “Substantial Evidence of Adequate Medical Care”

On May 30, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill ordered an end to the case of Balla, et al. v. Idaho State Board of Correction, finding no constitutional violation in the health care provided to incarcerated individuals at the Idaho State Correctional Institution (ISCI). The decision brought closure to nearly 40 years of litigation.

The class action case begin in 1981, alleging that conditions in prison, including medical care, violated the Eighth Amendment. The Court eventually selected the National Commission’s subsidiary, NCCHC Resources, Inc., as an impartial monitor of the health care system in the prison.

In 2012, the Court approved Modified Compliance Plans that were tied to NCCHC standards. In the 72-page decision, Judge Winmill wrote “The NCCHC accreditation and MCP compliance, while not determinative, constitute substantial evidence of adequate medical care.” The judge highlighted that compliance with NCCHC standards is “powerful evidence” of compliance with Eighth Amendment requirements.

The health care issues in the case included suicide prevention, mental health treatment, adequacy health staffing, and conditions in a long-term care unit.

NCCHC CEO Deborah Ross, CCHP, commented, “This case demonstrates the importance of NCCHC standards and NCCHC Resources’ effectiveness in providing data-based findings that the Court could rely on. The Court relied on NCCHC to be objective, clear, and fair in making our assessment.”

Brent Gibson, MD, managing director of NCCHC Resources, adds, “This is an example of how our work at NCCHC Resources augments, but is distinct and independent from, core NCCHC services like accreditation. In this case, the court specifically requested our services in reviewing the care provided under the Modified Compliance Plan.”

For more information, visit www.ncchc.org/resources.

Download a copy of the decision (.pdf)