At HNC, we have worked directly with prison systems in reducing their health care and transportation costs. Adequate Healthcare is constitutionally mandated for all prison inmates and the costs have had a significant upward trend in the past two decades. Healthcare costs in the United States Prison System reached nearly $8 billion dollars in 2011 as shown by a recent 2014 study by the Pew Charitable Trust Foundation. We at HNC have talked directly with prison systems and discovered that most of the costs involved with providing health care to inmates is tied up more so in the transportation costs of inmates than in the actual health care.
Transportation and security for inmate hospitalization is a large draw on the financial and employee resources of prison systems. Because adequate health care for inmates is mandated, this can usually mean widespread overtime pay for various prison staff any time a serious infectious disease makes its way through the inmate population. The greatest cost breakdown involved with the inmate population is general medical care at 37% of costs, following with hospitalization at 20%, and mental health care at 14%.
HNC can drastically mitigate the top costs to hospital systems using our Telehealth Kiosk Solution.
Included is a medical-grade telehealth cart, FDA-Certified medical peripherals for taking patient vitals, PTZ camera for virtual doctor and psychological evaluations, and battery backup for transportation of the Telehealth cart.
Inmates who are suffering from real or exaggerated conditions can have their baseline vitals taken – weight, temperature, blood pressure, glucose, pulse oxygen levels, and digital stethoscope readings while the inmate is still in their cell utilizing the mobile cart solution. This information is directly sent to a cloud-based, purpose-built EMR that a remote physician may review to discuss further action for that inmate. Using our PTZ camera, the doctor may zoom closer to the inmate than he would otherwise get for an in-person evaluation. By reducing travel costs and directly connecting with physicians remotely, prisons may keep costs low by reducing transportation costs and preventing unnecessary hospitalization of inmates.
Unless reasonable measures are implemented to mitigate Prison health care costs, current trends in the inmate populations will inevitably cause costs to go up even more. The population size, age, and health status of inmate populations correlates to the total correctional health care spending. The older the population, the higher the health care expenses will be. Studies show that prisoners ages 55 and older are set to increase by 204%.
It should be noted that prison systems who are staying ahead of this curve are already looking into cost mitigation options such as outsourcing care, Medicaid financing, geriatric parole, and Telehealth.
At HNC, we offer the total solution for mitigating prison health care costs and not just doctor video consultations. The ability to administer inmate vitals tests in a mobile platform that can then be immediately reviewed remotely, combined with virtual doctor and psychologist consultations, will help drastically reduce unnecessary medical care, hospitalization, and transportation costs for prison systems.
Images and statistical information provided by studies by the Pew Charitable Trust