Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Medical Care Is Covered at Federal Facility

The 19-year-old suspect was moved to a federal medical center Friday morning.

April 26, 2013, 3:12 PM

April 29, 2013— -- After reportedly suffering injuries to his hands, neck and legs after a dramatic showdown with police last week, Dzhohkar Tsarnaev received nearly a week of medical treatment at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and has subsequently been moved to the Federal Medical Center Devens, where his medical treatment will continue.

Since he is in federal custody, it's unlikely Tsarnaev or his family will have to pay for his medical care, as U.S. Federal Marshals are responsible for the health care of any inmate in their custody.

"The transformative moment is when he's transferred into custody of the federal government," said Bradley W. Brockmann, executive director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Brown University. "At that point, they would be responsible for the hospital bill payments."

During the 2012 fiscal year, federal medical referral centers spent an average of $51,430 per inmate annually, or $140.52 per day.

The Federal Medical Center Devens is one of six medical referral centers designated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to provide specialized health care services to federal inmates and is located less than 40 miles from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where Tsarnaev was initially taken after his capture.

Currently, the facility is treating 1,044 inmates in the medical center with an additional 127 inmates in a minimum security satellite camp. Inmates are separated according to their security level. Those who require the highest security are visited by medical personnel as they are confined to a cell that contains little besides a toilet and a bed.

According to John Colautti, the public information officer for the Federal Medical Center Devens, the facility has not instituted additional security measures for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

"We're operating as we would on an everyday basis," said John Colautti,. "We have individuals here that are high security and after [the suspect leaves] we would still have individuals that are high security."

Colautti said officials do consider other factors when an inmate is housed, including if they are violent or if they are an escape risk.

Although there are a few prisoners who are held for long periods of time at the minimum security camp, the majority of inmates are there to receive medical care.

It is not clear when Tsarnaev would be eligible to be transferred to another facility. The 19-year-old suspect was last reported to be in fair condition at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, but no such classifications are used at the Federal Medical Center Devens.

According to Colautti, the medical center can provide care for a wide variety of ailments but is known for treating patients in renal failure with dialysis. The Federal Medical Center Devens has a contract with the University of Massachusetts to provide kidney transplant services for inmates who are appropriate candidates. The facility also offers mental health services and the bureau's only sex offender treatment program.

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