Steps to Control Prison Inmate Health Care Costs Have Begun to Show Savings
Report 09-07, January 2009
- The Department of Corrections' health care costs have increased 37% in the past five years. Factors contributing to this trend are national medical cost inflation, growth in the inmate population and demand for health care, health care staff vacancies that have resulted in the use of more costly temporary employees, and the department's failure to provide adequate management control over contracted health care in Region IV.
- Since January 2008, the department has initiated several cost-containment measures that have begun realizing savings. The department reports spending $12.5 million less for inmate health care during the first half of Fiscal Year 2008-09 than during the same period of the previous fiscal year. These steps include utilization management, staffing initiatives, expanding secure hospital beds, changes to pharmaceutical purchasing and dispensing, and centralized contract procurement. In addition, the Legislature included proviso language in the Fiscal Year 2008-09 General Appropriations Act limiting hospital charges, which saved approximately $3.6 million from July to October 2008.
- To ensure value and adequacy of contracted inmate health care, the department should further strengthen its contract procurement and monitoring practices.
While DMS Has Improved Monitoring, It Needs to Strengthen Private Prison Oversight and Contracts
Report 08-71 December 2008
Corrections Experiences Turnover and Vacancies, But Performance Not Diminished
Report 07-15 February 2007
Progress Report: Inmate Health Care Consolidation Progressing; Privatization Requires Agency Vigilance
Report 04-61 August 2004
Review of the Department of Corrections
Report 00-23 December 2000
inmate health care, inmate medical services, prison medical, prison health care, correctional medical, correctional health