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.
- RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
- Medicaid-funded Paraprofessional Services for Criminal Justice Populations
One of the ACA’s goals is the improvement of population health, including the elimination of health disparities. This goal cannot be achieved without addressing the needs of justice-involved individuals, a population with major health disparities and other challenges that impact health. Through Medicaid expansion, the ACA has created an opportunity for many justice-involved individuals to gain health insurance for the first time. Peer support providers could play an important role in bringing justice-involved individuals into the health care system, delivering culturally competent services, and drawing on shared experiences to help clients overcome their often interrelated barriers to health and community re-entry.
CHCS, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
Promoting Health Access to Keep the Mentally Ill Out of Jail
For many people with mental illness — who lack access to health services and an adequate support system — jail has become a de facto home. Research shows that increased access to health care services can help keep individuals away from the revolving door of repeat arrests.To take advantage of expanded health insurance coverage options, state Medicaid agencies and state and local corrections systems are collaborating in new ways to reach and enroll individuals with criminal justice involvement into health coverage.
NYS Correctional Medical and Behavioral Healthcare Workshop,
The Present and Future of Correctional Health and Mental Health Care,
Keynote Speech, Steven Rosenberg, President, COCHS
On December 9, 2014, at the NYS Correctional Medical and Behavioral Healthcare Workshop, Steven Rosenberg gave the keynote speech. In this speech, he described the future of correctional health care and the way managed care principals will change the relationship between health care in the community and health care in corrections.
- New York Times Editorial: Mass Imprisonment and Public Health. The editorial board of the New York Times writes that "[the] four-decade binge [of incarceration] poses one of the greatest public health challenges of modern times". The editorial goes onto explain how "[incarcerated persons] come from impoverished communities where chronic and infectious diseases, drug abuse and other physical and mental stressors are present at much higher rates than in the general population". The board exhorts public health officials to "seize a unique opportunity [as states begin to consider alternatives to correction] to help guide criminal justice reform while they have the chance."
Health Care Behind Bars: A Key to Population Health? At the invitation of Senator Jay Rockefeller, Senator Roy Blunt and The Alliance for Health Reform, Steven Rosenberg, the President of COCHS, spoke on two panels at the United States Senate. In the first panel, he gave an overview of the health care needs of people cycling through the criminal justice system, and in the second panel, he explained how health care policy impacts justice involved individuals. United States Senate Briefing -
- describes the applicability of the federal government’s Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs – better known as “meaningful use” – to correctional facilities, and the opportunities that meaningful use affords correctional facilities not only for funds but also to connect with the mainstream health care system in a way that will advance the health of the justice-involved. Meaningful Use and Corrections: Unknown OpportunitiesTweet
- is an article in How the ACA Can Revolutionize Inmate HealthcareThe Nation that describes how Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act impacts the health care of the people cycling in and out of our nation's jails. Before the ACA, 90 percent of individuals involved in the criminal justice were without health insurance. Now with insurance available for this population, new possibilities are open not only for the jail involved population but also for the providers who treat them. This article also includes multiple quotes from Ben Butler, COCHS' Chief Information Officer.
- . On April 3, 2014, COCHS and Health Affairs (with support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Langeloth Foundation, and Public Welfare Foundation) hosted in Washington D.C., Health Reform and Criminal Justice: Advancing New Opportunities. This conference provided a forum to discuss multiple topics including health and criminal justice policy, eligibility and enrollment into Medicaid, integration of community and jail health systems, and health information technology's role in building connectivity between corrections and the greater health care community. To view a recording of the entire conference, please visit the COCHS and Health Affairs Conference, Health Reform and Criminal Justice: Advancing New Opportunities. COCHS library