Term Paper: Healthcare in Prisons

Sample Term Paper

Words 1,300

This term paper provides some discussions of healthcare in prisons. Since the early 1990s, bureau of prison has attempted to increase the competence and financial system of health care delivery to prisoners through various cost control plans, such as restructure of medical staffing.

Since the early 1990s, bureau of prison has attempted to increase the competence and financial system of health care delivery to prisoners through various cost control plans, such as restructure of medical staffing, gaining price cut through quantity or bulk procurement, leveraging funds through cooperative efforts with other governmental bodies, and even privatizing medical services at selected facilities. Bureau of prison reports that some of these efforts are starting to produce savings, as indicated by the decrease in per capita inmate health care costs from 1997 through 1999.

To further control medical costs, bureau of prison has initiated two legislative provisions.

  • a prisoner co-payment stipulation—would authorize the Director of bureau of prison to assess and collect a fee of not less than $2 for each health care visit requested by a prisoner. Bureau of prison officials expect that this co-payment provision would serve primarily to reduce the number of unnecessary medical visits. That this provision would also generate annual revenues of about $1 million.
  • The second provision would build on the federal government’s extensive experience in establishing payment rates for inpatient hospital services through Medicare’s prospective payment system. That is, Medicare’s prospective rates, which vary to reflect expected patient-care costs, could be adapted to serve as caps to bureau of prison’s payments to community hospitals for services provided to federal prisoners.  This legislative provision would save bureau of prison about $6 million annually. Although they did not fully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these two legislative provisions, they believe that they would be helpful to bureau of prison’s efforts to control medical costs.

Additionally, they recognized an administrative decision whereby bureau of prison may achieve further savings by discussing more cost-effective deals with community hospitals that provide medical care for inmates. A pioneering “benchmarking” approach. According to regional office contracting officials, if the benchmarking approach were applied to all contracts in the South Central Region, the estimated savings would be about $5.6 million annually in this one region alone.

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