Numerous articles have been written about COCHS' work and mission. These articles cover COCHS' involvement in monitoring healthcare delivery and human rights in jails, providing technical assistance to create connectivity between community providers and correctional providers, explaining health reform's impact on jail involved populations (especially Medicaid expansion), and describing current and potential health IT options within corrections.
Monitoring and Human Rights
Death and politics roil a Georgia jailReuters
In Savannah, an independent monitor (COCHS) cited widespread problems in the mental health care provided to suicidal inmates. As deaths mounted, the monitor was forced out. COCHS described staff shortages, unclear health guidelines and failures to give inmates prescribed medications. Such failings, they warned, could trigger “potential loss of life.”
For sheriffs, healthcare for inmates can be a burden. For one doctor, it has been the opportunity of a lifetimeAtlanta
The contract [with Correct Health], worth $7 million annually, required the company to be overseen by Steve Rosenberg [COCHS], an independent jail monitor. CorrectHealth’s tenure got off to a rocky start that included missed intake screenings and insufficient staffing.
State Sued as Mentally Ill Defendants Face Long Waits in JailKQED
In California hundreds of defendants declared incompetent to stand trial are sitting in county jails awaiting transfer to state facilities for mental health treatment. Commenting on an ACLU lawsuit, Dan Mistak, COCHS' general counsel, said the lack of treatment beds dates back decades to when California began deinstitutionalizing. There hasn't been a social safety net and the jail has stepped in to make up for a lack of services.
Former Rikers Island medical chief to lead study of San Diego County jails
San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego County has selected COCHS to perform a “best practices” review of the local jail system, a study the Board of Supervisors commissioned in response to a six-month investigation by The San Diego Union-Tribune into the high death rate among inmates. The San Diego study will be supervised by Dr. Homer Venters, the former chief medical officer at New York City Correctional Health Services who took over as the nonprofit’s president in January.
Ocala Community Care marks 10 years of helping jail inmatesOcala Star Banner
Ocala Community Care is modeled after Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS), used by the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department in Massachusetts. Ocala's jail holds 1,500 inmates: 60% are taking some sort of medication; 5% of the population is responsible for 40% of the total medication costs due to HIV infections, and 30% of the population is on psychotropic medications.
Local Correctional Health Care Gets Big Boost From Large FoundationAmerican Jails
In 2006, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established COCHS to act as the technical support bridge between the health center system and the correctional system. For its initial engagement, COCHS was contacted by the Washington D.C. Mayor’s Office. COCHS worked in DC to facilitate Unity Health Care, the largest community health provider in the District, to become the health service providerin the DC Department of Corrections.
Health Reform and Medicaid Expansion
How the ACA Can Revolutionize Inmate HealthcareThe Nation
Eighty percent of detained individuals with a chronic medical condition have not received treatment in the community prior to arrest. Ben Butler of Community Oriented Correctional Health Services says: It’s like an emergency room. In effect, jails have become the front line for health problems that plague underserved communities in America. The Affordable Care Act provides an opportunity to improve continuity in treatment.
ACA, Ben Butler, Healthcare, HIE, Jail
Medicaid Expansion and the Local Community Justice SystemAmerican Jails
In 2011 COCHS' CEO Michael Dubose wrote in Amarican Jails, how the Afordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion will provide an opportunity to reduce costs associated with individuals involved in the justice system: from jail bed use to emergency room admissions to medical care. Medicaid expansion will extend health care coverage to an estimated 16 million individuals, including nonviolent offenders with mental illness or chemical addiction.
Roadblocks to Recovery: State policy causing potential problem for substance abuse treatmentThe Sentinel
Federal law requires that Medicaid dollars cannot be used for treatment for individuals who are incarcerated. Enrollment in Medicaid, however, does not have to be terminated during their time in jail. COCHS' president Steve Rosenberg states that one solution to help combat substance use disorder is to suspend an individual’s Medicaid enrollment rather than terminate it.
Health IT and HIE
The Impact Of Policies Promoting Health Information Technology On Health Care Delivery In Jails And Local CommunitiesHealth Affairs
The current policy landscape, shaped by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Affordable Care Act, is favorable to jails’ implementation of health information technology (IT).
Health Information Exchange between Jails and Their Communities: A Bridge That Is Needed under Healthcare ReformPerspectives
This article presents two case studies: one in which a single champion made the decision to link the jail health care system to the local HIE and the other where all stakeholders were included in the process.
Jails need HIE as a bridge to outside careFierce Healthcare
Fierce Healthcare reports on Ben Butler's article in Perspectives, Health Information Exchange between Jails and Their Communities: A Bridge That Is Needed under Healthcare Reform. Adding that stakeholders are optimistic that they can reduce recidivism by coordinating and improving treatment for people with mental illness and substance addictions, and see the HIE as central to improving care.