FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Gary Neal Sadler,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2009-313

Executive Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Correctional Managed Health Care; and

State of Connecticut, University of

Connecticut Health Center, Correctional

Managed Health Care,

 
  Respondents April 28, 2010
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 2, 2010, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. 

 

The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction.  See Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al, Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford, Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.). 

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

 

1.  The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.  It is found that, by letter dated March 31, 2009, the complainant sent a request for records to the respondents, in which he sought a copy of the following records:

 

a.       Any existing physician written guidelines as referenced in the Utilization Review Manual, CMHC[1] policy number 3.00, entitled Guidelines for Utilization Review of Specialty Service Request, with regard to the following medical conditions:  heartburn; acid reflux; gastroesophagael reflux disease; dislocation of joints; and visionary floaters of the eyes (or ‘floaters’).

 

3.  In the same March 31, 2009 letter, the complainant also requested that the respondents provide him with a copy of, or make available for inspection, records from the following list of medical references, to the extent that such references contained information on the conditions listed in paragraph 2.a, above: 

 

a.       Harrison’s On-Line. 2005 (McGraw Hill Company);

b.      Micromedex Healthcare Services On-Line. 2005 (Micromedex Incorporated);

c.       Griffin’s 5-Minute Clinical Consult On-Line.  2005.  Lippincolt, Williams & Wilkins); and

d.      Primary Care Medicine, Office Evaluation and Management of the Adult Patient.  (Third Edition.  1995.  Lippencolt Company).

 

4.  It is found that, by letter dated April 6, 2009, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s request for records.  It is further found that, at such time, the respondents provided the complainant with a copy of the Utilization Review Policy 3.00, which policy is referenced in the complainant’s request for records described in paragraph 2, above.  The respondents also informed the complainant that his request for records was being referred to the “FOI tracker at CMHC for any follow up.”

 

5.  It is found that the respondents further communicated with the complainant regarding his request by follow-up letters dated April 7 and April 16, 2009. 

 

6.  It is found that, by letter dated April 27, 2009, the complainant renewed his request for the records described in paragraph 3, above, but at this point requested access to such records, rather than copies. 

 

7.  It is found that, by letter dated April 30, 2009, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s April 27, 2009 request for records. 

 

8.  By letter dated May 21, 2009 and filed May 28, 2009, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by not complying with his request for records.

 

9.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:

 

“Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

10.  Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to . . .  (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.

 

11.  Section 1-212(a)(1), G.S., provides in relevant part that:

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

 

12.  It is found that, other than the Utilization Review Policy 3.00, the respondents do not maintain records in their possession responsive to the complainant’s request for records, as referenced in paragraph 2.a, above. 

 

13.  It is further found that, with respect to the four medical references listed in paragraph 3, above, such references are on-line, medical, consultation databases, which are available to the respondents as subscription databases. 

 

14.  It is found that the respondents do not regularly utilize these databases in part, because, in order to gain access to these databases, the respondents must pay an online access fee.  It is further found that the respondents have not accessed such databases to research the medical conditions listed in paragraph 2.a, above.

 

15.   It is further found that the only time that the respondents might utilize any of these databases would be when an inmate had a medical condition with which no member of the respondents’ medical team was familiar.  However, based on the testimony at the hearing, it is further found that, if an inmate had a medical condition with which no member of the respondents’ medical team was familiar, it would be much more likely that the respondents would consult with a physician, rather than consulting the subscription databases identified in paragraph 3, above.

 

            16.  Based on the findings in paragraphs 13 through 15, above, it is concluded that the respondents do not maintain the records described in paragraph 3, above.  It is further concluded that such records are not public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), G.S.

 

            17.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged in the complaint. 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

1.  The complaint is dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 28, 2010.

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

 

Gary Neal Sadler #236395

MacDougall-Walker C I

1153 East Street South

Suffield, CT 06080


Executive Director, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center,

Correctional Managed Health Care; and

State of Connecticut, University of

Connecticut Health Center, Correctional

Managed Health Care

C/o Donald R. Green, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

University of CT Health Center

263 Farmington Avenue

Farmington, CT 06030

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2009-313FD/sw/5/4/2010

 

 

 



[1] “CMCH” is the acronym for Correctional Managed Health Care.