Managed Care

 

Ex-Prisoners In Need of Care

Ex-Prisoners In Need of Care

Frank Diamond

There’s a gap in the proverbial health care safety net that’s big enough for a whale to swim through.

People who are incarcerated, on probation, or on parole — what a recent study calls the “justice-involved population” — make up 22% of the 13 million newly eligible people.

“The justice-involved population has a higher disease burden than the general population, yet as many as 90% of justice-involved people lack health insurance at the time of their release from incarceration,” says the study, published in Health Affairs. “This disparity between disease burden and access can drive up the cost of health care, result in worse outcomes, and cause patients to seek care later than appropriate and in care settings that are often isolated and lack care coordination.”

The study — “Integrating Correctional and Community Health Care for Formerly Incarcerated People Who are Eligible for Medicaid” — points out that jails, unlike prisons, house inmates for a year or less. There is constant turnover.

“Jails admitted an estimated 11.8 million people in the 12 months preceding June 30, 2011, the period for which the most recent data are available,” the study states.

Of particular concern are rates of substance abuse and HIV infection. Because this population has high rates of poverty and unemployment, it’s not easy to blend in again.

“Seeking health care after release from jail is often a low priority, although there is evidence that treating medical and behavioral health conditions improves the probability of successful reintegration into the community.”

The study cites programs that reduced recidivism while addressing health care needs. But it says that access to Medicaid alone is not enough, and that “clinically and socially effective engagement in care can be achieved through robust collaboration between criminal justice personnel and community health providers.”

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of pushing the bureaucracy.

“Many people who leave the criminal justice system — and their new, community-based health care providers — must wait for weeks, if not months, for accurate copies of their medical records.”

Meetings

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Contracting Conference Philadelphia, PA September 22–23, 2014
Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014