Navigation Links
Filling the gap: The importance of Medicaid continuity for former inmates
Date:5/18/2009

PROVIDENCE, RI It is time for states to suspend, rather than terminate, the Medicaid benefits of inmates while they are incarcerated, say correctional health care experts from The Miriam Hospital in a commentary published online by the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Although federal law does not mandate Medicaid termination for prisoners, 90 percent of states have implemented policies that withdraw inmates' enrollment upon incarceration, which the authors say leaves a vulnerable population uninsured following release.

In the article, Josiah D. Rich, MD, MPH, notes that each year, the United States releases more than 10 million people from the nation's correctional facilities. Re-entry into the community for former inmates is a vulnerable time especially for those with mental illness and is marked by difficulties adjusting and increased drug use. In addition, the risk for dying is sharply increased in the first two weeks after release, with drug overdose, cardiovascular disease, homicide and suicide among the leading causes of death.

"We know that having Medicaid at the time of release leads to increased access to and utilization of services, as well as decreased drug use and re-incarceration. However, without coverage, former inmates face tremendous, and potentially fatal, health risks and are forced to rely on emergency rooms for medical care, placing the burden of cost on hospitals and state agencies," says Rich, co-director of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

He also points out that releasing inmates without medical coverage can contribute to an increased spread of infectious diseases, since many prisoners with hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis pass through the correctional system. Other communicable diseases, such as influenza, are commonly spread in prisons.

Although Medicaid has prohibited the use of federal funds to cover medical, mental health or substance use treatment costs incurred by inmates in jails and prisons, Rich says that Medicaid law does not require that states terminate recipients' enrollment while incarcerated. Unfortunately, federal rules establish only the minimum requirements and states have the freedom to enact tougher regulations.

"This leaves many inmates potentially facing months of reenrollment paperwork and bureaucracy upon release before they can get any medical coverage," he says, noting that the process which also involves meeting with Social Security Income and Medicaid representatives to determine eligibility can often take up to three months.

Former inmates with mental health issues, who are often struggling with addiction, lack of transportation and homelessness, have the most difficulty with the complicated Medicaid re-enrollment process. Coincidentally, Medicaid is the single largest payer for mental health services and is a crucial resource for the 16 percent of inmates reporting current mental illness, as well as for the additional 14 percent reporting past psychiatric treatment.

Rich suggests that states follow the lead of New York, which passed Medicaid Suspension Legislation in 2007, requiring the state to suspend Medicaid for those who are enrolled at the time of incarceration and permitting immediate reinstatement upon release.

"With the United States now leading the world in the number of incarcerated individuals and length of sentences, the issue of Medicaid termination is critical, not just to the nearly 10 million people in our correctional system but to the communities and health care systems to which they return," Rich says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Most comprehensive study of mercury in dental fillings begins
2. ADA Calls for Scientifically Accurate Patient Brochure Explaining Filling Choices
3. A Patients Right to Know: Silver Fillings are 50% Mercury
4. New Generation Xcelodose(R)S Precision Drug Powder Micro-filling System Offers 50% Increased Throughput
5. Bavarian Nordic Receives $25 Million Milestone Payment From HHS for Fulfilling Contract Milestones
6. Amalgam fillings dont affect childrens brain development, says study in ADA Journal
7. Amalgam Fillings Dont Affect Childrens Brain Development, Says Study in ADA Journal
8. EPA takes first step in filling nanotech information gaps
9. Filling in the Alzheimers Race Gap
10. Los Angeles Jewish Home Unveils Auerbach Behavioral Health Center Filling Community Void for Adults Over 55
11. US FDA Admits Risks of Mercury Dental Fillings, Settles Lawsuit
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital celebrated a ... out ceremony on Friday marked the halfway point of construction and lifting of the ... 2018, will serve as a center for innovation aimed at finding new discoveries and ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 19, 2017 , ... The Citadel’s ... undergraduate nursing students, is being led by Amelia Joseph, Ph.D. Joseph was engaged by ... operations of the nursing department in early 2016. After a nation-wide search, she was ...
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... Orbita, Inc., ... forces with Healthwise ® at HIMSS 2017 to showcase a ... evidence-based health education, technology and services, will demonstrate a voice-powered knowedge assistant based ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... CONTACT:, Glenn Vallecillos, ... Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Glenn Vallecillos experiments SculpSure, the hot, new, ... plastic surgery has been centered around that idea that to achieve ones desired ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... ... Smiles by Seese is a comprehensive family dental practice located in ... as a skilled and highly credentialed dentist who is qualified to perform a full ... ages with excellence in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry . Their services include ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... ORLANDO, Fla. , Feb. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... are helping physicians diagnose and treat patients with ... will provide wireless connectivity for ZywiePro, Zywie,s cardiac ... AT&T Control Center . AT&T ... accessible monitoring for those with the disease. The ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... , Feb 20, 2017 Research and ... Devices Global Market -Forecast to 2022" report to their ... ... rise in aging population, rising adoption of tension free repair ... the growth of hernia repair devices global market. However, Inconsistent ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... 2017 The global  animal ... billion by 2025, according to a new study ... driven by technological advancements in veterinary care, which ... the market. For instance, MediLabSecure, a laboratory network ... emerging viruses and pathogens in 19 countries in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: