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.
Jails, historically, aren’t known as places of drug rehabilitation. But Dr. Sasha Rai, the Director of Behavioral Health Services for the Denver Sheriff’s Department of Health Services, is providing people in the Denver jail that option. Dr. Rai launched a Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) program in Denver jails a couple of years ago with a small team of nurses and case managers from Denver Health. Last year, Rai’s team put 916 inmates on Opiate Withdrawal Protocol.
The Madisonville Meteor
The Madison County jail will transform methods of providing healthcare to prisoners, as county commissioners accepted a proposal from Southern Health Partners to provide on-site and remote care for $62,120 a year. The change comes as a result of the Sandra Bland Act passed by the Texas legislature in 2017, which mandates county jails divert people with mental health and substance abuse issues toward treatment and requires that independent law enforcement agencies investigate jail deaths.
New research suggests Medicaid expansion helped reduce opioid overdose deaths by facilitating access to treatment. The study, published Friday in JAMA Network Open, compared changes in opioid overdose rates in expansion states to changes within non-expansion states between 2001 and 2017, analyzing cause-of-death data from more than 3,100 counties across 49 states and the District of Columbia. The study found Medicaid expansion was associated with a 6% lower rate of overdose deaths compared with the rate in non-expansion states.