The Acting DHS Secretary and CBP leadership are committed to ensuring individuals in CBP custody receive appropriate medical support, according to a recent press release. CBP continues to take steps to significantly enhance its medical support efforts, consistent with CBP’s law enforcement mission.

In December 2019, CBP issued the Enhanced Medical Directive setting foundational levels of medical support.  

  • The Directive provided clear direction for USBP and OFO regarding contract mechanisms that support enhanced medical support efforts along the SWB.
  • The Directive also outlined the responsibilities and procedures for how CBP will deploy enhanced medical support efforts to mitigate health risks to those in CBP custody.

CBP finalized USBP and OFO specific implementation plans for the Directive codifying, March 30, in significant additional detail, a systematic expansion and enhancement, in both scope and scale, of CBP medical support efforts.

The implementation plans were informed by the last year and a half of expansion of enhanced medical support along the southwest border, and developed in consultation with numerous expert internal and external stakeholders, including the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office and the DHS Chief Medical Officer.

The plans for OFO and USBP are separate to account for differences in their command and control structures, as well as their nomenclatures. However, the implementing language is the same in both. 

The Implementation Plans include a high-level Concept of Operations (CONOPS) with accompanying detailed annex, comprised of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). 

The documents are a snapshot of current guidance and medical support efforts; CBP will continue to refine and enhance its practices and procedures to ensure alignment with Department-wide decisions or address new and emerging threats, according to the release.

Some areas that have been addressed in detail include:

  • Medical Support for Juveniles 
  • Identification and Notification of Medical Issues
  • Enhanced Medical Monitoring
  • Medication Review
  • Medical Quality Management (MQM)
  • Public Health (PH)/Infectious Disease (ID) Management
  • Surge and Crisis Level Medical Support

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