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 implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and now the possibility of its repeal or revision, COCHS now reserves its home page to highlight developments impacting public health and public safety. For those seeking more information about COCHS, please visit our About Us page.
- WHAT'S NEW
The National Association of Counties(NACo): Medicaid Coverage and County Jails
In order to educate federal policymakers on issues around Medicaid and justice-involved individuals, NACo recently released a new report titled, Medicaid Coverage and County Jails: Understanding Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Health Outcomes for Justice-Involved Individuals. In this document, NACo’s Associate Legislative Director for Health, Brian Bowden, explains why Congress should pass legislation to ease and/ or undo the federal Medicaid inmate exclusion and require states to suspend, instead of terminate, Medicaid coverage for justice involved individuals. Further, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should exercise their existing authority to provide additional state flexibility in the Medicaid program to cover justice-involved individuals. Read more...
2016 Election: Health and Justice Connectivity
Steven Rosenberg, the President of COCHS, in a letter to our partners, describes what he perceives to be the impact of the election on community and correctional connectivity. He has also taken this opportunity to announce his retirement in 2017. Daniel Mistak, the General Counsel of COCHS, will be his replacement. The letter was reprinted in Correctional Mental Health Report in an article entitled Looking Ahead with President Trump.
In Politico's Morning eHealth Report, Steven's letter was cited as providing some clarity in what the new administration's policy might be at the intersections of health care and criminal justice --the citation is at the end of the article. Read more..
Signed Out Of Prison But Not Signed Up For Health Insurance
Although Medicaid expansion has offered help to many of those who have never had access to lifesaving medications, wending one’s way through the bureaucratic thicket remains a challenge that all too often requires luck to be successful. This is particularly true for individuals leaving correctional care without health insurance. Dan Mistak, COCHS' general counsel is interviewed for this story and highlights COCHS work in this area. Read more...
The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health
The first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences. Read more...
Governor Brian Sandoval’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit
On August 30-31, Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada invited COCHS General Counsel Daniel Mistak to participate in a comprehensive planning meeting on the opioid epidemic to provide an opportunity for state policy leaders, to strategize how the state could examine prescription drug prescribing practices, options for treatment, criminal justice interventions, and challenges and opportunities in the state. Following a speech by Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, Mr. Mistak provided a plenary session that described conceptual framework for diverting individuals out of the criminal justice system and leveraging Medicaid as a means of connecting individuals with substance use disorder with appropriate services. Read more...
The Future of the Safety Net:
Federal Legislation and Behavioral Health Financing
COCHS General Counsel Dan Mistak looks at the Excellence Act as the newest way states can incorporate value-based purchasing into their health care delivery system and meet the needs of those who have often been left out of our health care system. Read more...
CMS Guidance on Justice Involved Individuals Eligibility for Medicaid
Steven Rosenberg, President of COCHS, comments on CMS's State Health Director letter that clarifies the conditions under which a justice-involved individual is deemed an “inmate of a public institution” and thus ineligible for federal financial participation (FFP) for Medicaid-covered services. Read more...
The Affordable Care Act and the Excellence Act: An Evolving Terrain to Meet the Needs of the Neediest
In Cornerstone, the magazine of the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, Dan Mistak, COCHS' general counsel, explains how two tectonic shifts in the health care world have poised legal aid lawyers and defenders to better advocate for community solutions to client needs: the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (otherwise known as the “Excellence Act”). Read more...
New HIE Funding Opportunities for Corrections:
Health Information Technology’s Role in Reducing Mass Incarceration
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on February 29, 2016 released a Dear State Medicaid Director letter which expanded the list of providers that could participate in the 90 percent federal matching funds (90/10) on state activities to promote health information exchange (HIE). The new expanded list included correctional health providers. This addition is a recognition that coordinating care of individuals cycling through the criminal justice is an important contribution in assisting eligible Medicaid providers in the community to meet EHR Incentive objectives of Meaningful Use
Addressing the Disparate Impact of the Federal Response to the Opioid Epidemic
In this paper, Dan Mistak, general counsel of COCHS, describes the history of federal financial participation (FFP) prohibitions on providing health care for individuals in public institutions and CMS’ current re-consideration of old FFP exclusions on funding for Institutions for Mental Disease ("IMD") in the face of the opioid abuse crisis. He also points out how removing prohibitions for IMDs, while retaining the ban on funding for certain types of inmate health care will exacerbate disparate racial impacts. This paper urges CMS to reconsider the “Inmate Exception” in the same way it reconsidered its IMD exception in order to ensure that everyone affected by the opioid epidemic receives treatment and to avoid the implicit devaluation of young, poor people of color. In order to create a fairer criminal justice system, we must ensure that everyone affected by the opioid epidemic is treated rather than incarcerated. Read more...
No Escaping Medical Copayments, Even in Prison
In an article from the Pew Charitable Trust, the president of COCHS, Steve Rosenberg states that charging inmates a copayment for medical services is counter to one of the chief ambitions of health reform under the Affordable Care Act: preventive care, which can forestall worsening medical conditions and costlier treatments in the long run. Read more...
Health and Corrections Terrain in the Next Administration
In this short briefing Daniel Mistak, General Counsel of COCHS, helps our partners make sense of the possible changes in the next administration that might benefit justice-involved individuals. Read more...