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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Health Care Costs for Inmates Rising

Department of Corrections (DOC) Director Harold Clarke spoke to the Senate Finance Public Safety Subcommittee about the DOC budget.

The total amount in the introduced budget for DOC Offender Health Care is $17.8 million in 2019 and $24.2 million in 2020. Using the June 2017 Consumer Price Increase (CPI-W), outpatient hospital services increased 6.2 percent, inpatient hospital services increased by 5.4 percent, prescription drugs increased 3.8 percent, and medical care services (physicians and dental services) increased by 2.6 percent.

Anthem administers payment for off-site healthcare for DOC self-operating and contractually-managed medical sites. The 5 percent growth in Anthem billing is due to the CPI-W increases. Costs for Hepatitis C treatments continue to decline. DOC started using the cheapest available drug starting January 2018, moving from over $45,000 per person to about $26,000.

In 2017, offender medical per capita cost was $6,554, which puts Virginia in the median for state spending on offender health care. The Subcommittee asked Director Clarke for more information on the following items: $20 million, over four years, linked to the Electronic Health Records system contract; 36 full time employees funded in 2020 and the offenders they serve; enrollment of offenders per Community Corrections Alternative Program location; and, a breakdown of employee classification for those leaving DOC.

To view Director Clarke’s presentation, please click here.

VACo Contact: Khaki LaRiviere

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