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Community Oriented Correctional Health Services

Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS) is the national leader in promoting health care connectivity between jails and the communities in which they reside. With the ongoing implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), COCHS now reserves its home page to highlight recent developments impacting public health and public safety. For those seeking more information about COCHS, please visit our About Us page.

  • Federal Drug Sentencing Laws Bring High Cost, Low Return
    A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts reviewing the history of the Federal sentencing laws past in the 1990s and 1980s: these laws have neither decreased drug use nor recidivism. Read more...
  • State Sued as Mentally Ill Defendants Face Long Waits in Jail
    In California, hundreds of criminal defendants declared incompetent to stand trial are sitting in county jails around the state awaiting transfer to state facilities for mental health treatment. Dan Mistak of COCHS said, “there hasn’t been a social safety net for these folks and what’s happened is the jail has actually stepped in in order to make up for essentially what’s been a lack of these services everywhere else,” Mistak noted. Read more...
  • State Medicaid Eligibility Policies for Individuals Moving Into and Out of Incarceration
    An issue brief from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation explaining Medicaid eligibility for justice involved populations. Read more...
  • No Escaping Medical Copayments, Even in Prison
    In an article from the Pew Charitable Trust, the president of COCHS, Steve Rosenberg states that charging inmates a copayment for medical services is counter to one of the chief ambitions of health reform under the Affordable Care Act: preventive care, which can forestall worsening medical conditions and costlier treatments in the long run. Read more...
  • Disparities in Mental Health Referral and Diagnosis in the New York City Jail Mental Health Service
    Research shows that significant health disparities exist for incarcerated persons of color, including the occurrence of infection, violence, and mortality. Because persons with mental illness have longer lengths of stay than others, they now represent approximately 38% of persons in jail. In New York City, both non-White and young patients appear to be less likely to enter the jail mental health system and more likely to enter solitary confinement than their White and older counterparts. Read more...
  • Meaningful Use of an Electronic Health Record in the New York City Jail System
    The New York City jail system, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene oversees care delivery and was able to participate in and earn incentives through the Medicaid Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program. Despite the challenges of this program and other health information innovations, participation by correctional health services can generate financial assistance and useful frameworks to guide these efforts. Read more...
  • Excellence in Mental Health Act Improves Behavioral Health Resources for Public Safety
    Too often individuals end up in the criminal justice system because of a lack of access to behavioral health care in their communities. The Excellence Act has the potential to change this cycle. Read more...
  • Predictive Analytics in Health Care and Criminal Justice: Three Case Studies

    In this issue paper, Ben Butler, COCHS' CIO, examines three case studies where predictive analytics are being used to assist health care providers along with criminal justice professionals in reducing incarceration, improving health, and maintaining public safety. Read issue paper...

  • Health Affairs Publishes Ben Butler's Letter:
    Health Information Exchange and Jails

    In this month's issue of Health Affairs, Ben Butler, COCHS' CIO, responds to a March 2015 Health Affairs' article, Despite The Spread Of Health Information Exchange, There Is Little Evidence Of Its Impact On Cost, Use, And Quality Of Care, by Saurabh Rahurkar and coauthors. In his letter, Ben suggests that jails offer an interesting opportunity to test the efficacy of health information exchange (HIE) for improving the health of a very vulnerable population. Read letter...

  • Medicaid Claiming and Public Safety Agencies
    While Medicaid pays for traditional services like doctors’ appointments and hospital stays, it also covers other types of services. On average, 96 percent of Medicaid expenditures cover traditional direct services; the other 4 percent, however, cover non-service functions, including funding matches to states and localities for administrative expenses related to Medicaid. Those administrative expenses typically are used to fund social services, mental health, and public health programs through a program called Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC). Few public safety entities participate in MAC, even though they are eligible. Read more...

  • The Medicaid Administrative Claiming Program
    This overview includes a description of Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC). Specifically, it details what MAC covers, and who can claim MAC. In addition there is a brief discussion of targeted case management (TCM). Read more...

  • Medicaid Coverage for Jail Inmate's Inpatient Hospitalization

    In Sheriff Magazine, Steve Rosenberg, president of COCHS discusses the Department of Health and Human Services' guidance letter of 1997 that outlines the circumstances under which Medicaid could pay for health insurance when an inmate becomes a patient in a medical institution. The ACA's Medicaid expansion means that a significant number of inmates are likely to be eligible. Read more...

  • Ending the Criminalization of Mental Illness
    In a speech to a meeting of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence, Judge Steven Leifman talks about his experience being a judge in Miami-Dade County. At the time of his election, he did not realize he would become the gatekeeper to the largest psychiatric facility in the State of Florida: the Miami-Dade County Jail. Judge Leifman proposes ten essential elements to improve the care of individuals suffering from mental illness and behavioral health challenges. Read more...

  • Consumer Rights Come to Jail: How the Affordable Care Act
    Changes the Rights of Individuals Pending Disposition

    The ACA has expanded affordability of, and access to, health care and granted rights and responsibilities specifically to individuals in jail pending disposition. It is only a matter of time before correctional settings must incorporate the consumer-based insurance mechanisms and assurances established by the ACA. Recognition of serious, widespread deficiencies in the physical and mental health care services provided in jail underscores the urgency of this need. Read more...

  • Technology and Continuity of Care: Connecting Justice and Health

    At the end of 2014, COCHS received funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to develop nine case studies on data-sharing between the criminal justice and the health care sectors to promote continuity of care. We developed these case studies as a way to provide insights from a range of jurisdictions and organizations and inform data-sharing efforts in other communities. Read more...