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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.

  • 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."
  • 11,1EHRs Behind Bars: Progress and Barriers is an article in iHealthBeat that provides an overview of the adoption and implementation of EHRs in jails. COCHS CIO, Ben Butler, is quoted throughout the article. Reference is also made to the COCHS issue paper, 11,2Meaningful Use and Corrections: Unknown Opportunities, that was published in June of this year.
  • 6,5Jail Community Connectivity Essential to Leverage Health Reform Opportunities is a guest editorial by John Miles for Correct Care, the magazine of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). In this editorial, John writes about attending 6,1COCHS and Health Affairs Conference, Health Reform and Criminal Justice: Advancing New Opportunities held in Washington DC last April. He applauds COCHS for promoting high standards of care and connectivity between jails and the community.
  • 10,4United States Senate Briefing -
    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.
  • 11,2Meaningful Use and Corrections: Unknown Opportunities 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.
  • 5,1How the ACA Can Revolutionize Inmate Healthcare is an article in The 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.
  • By the numbers: Mental illness behind bars. Sarah Varney, of Kaiser Health News reports for PBS, how under the federal health care law's expansion of Medicaid ex-offenders will have the opportunity to get health care in some states.
  • 6,1COCHS and Health Affairs Conference, Health Reform and Criminal Justice: Advancing New Opportunities. 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 6,1COCHS library.
  • Health Affairs Cluster Focuses on Health and Health Care for Jail-Involved Populations. Health Affairs, the nation's premier health policy journal, has published a cluster of articles on the health care needs of the 11.6 million people who cycle through the nation’s 3,300 local and county jails every year. COCHS worked with Health Affairs to organize and produce this cluster; in fact, three of the articles are co-authored by COCHS staff along with other experts in the field. In Health Affairs Narrative Matters, Sheriff Mike Ashe of Hampden County, Massachusetts and board member of COCHS, relates his own experience in breaking down silos between jail health care and community health care. Posted on the Health Affairs Blog, are several articles by professionals in multiple disciplines that explore different aspects of health care delivery within jails. To read 4,1all article abstracts, 4,3Sheriff Ashe's Narrative Matters article, and 4,2blog postings, please visit the 4,1COCHS library.