CDC's National Survey of Prison Health Care
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presents findings on health care services in U.S. state prisons, focusing on admissions screening or testing for certain risk factors and conditions, where services are delivered (on-site, off-site or both) and use of telemedicine. Findings are based on data from calendar year 2011, gathered through semi-structured interviews conducted in 2012; 45 states provided data. Key findings are as follows:
• Percentages of admissions in states that tested at least some prisoners during the intake process: hepatitis A, 76.9%; hepatitis B, 82%; hepatitis C, 87.3%; tuberculosis, 100%; mental health conditions and suicide risk, 100%; traumatic brain injury, 40.3%; cardiovascular conditions and risk factors using electrocardiogram, 82.5%; elevated lipids, 70%; and high blood pressure, 99.8%.
• Services commonly delivered on-site include inpatient and outpatient mental health care (27 and 44 states), care for chronic diseases (31 states), long-term or nursing home care (35 states) and hospice care (35 states). Inpatient and outpatient medical, dental and emergency care were mostly delivered using both on-site and off-site locations. Most states delivered selected diagnostic procedures and radiologic tests off-site.
• Telemedicine was most commonly used for psychiatry (28 states).