Online Program

Expedited Medicaid restoration: Introduction and overview

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Joseph Morrissey, PhD, Program on Mental Health Services Research, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Mentally ill persons involved in the criminal justice system represent a new frontier for community mental health and disability research. The scope of this problem is truly staggering with upwards of 86,000 persons with severe mental illness (SMI) released from state prisons each year with high rates of recidivism. The loss of Medicaid benefits by incarcerated offenders is thought to be a major obstacle to successful community reentry. Several states have adopted expedited restoration programs to reconnect eligible prisoners to their Medicaid benefits prior to release. It is widely believed that early benefit restoration can avoid disruptions in medication regimens and treatments for offenders with SMI when they are released to the community. However, few rigorous research studies have been conducted to establish the impact or cost-effectiveness of these policies. This presentation describes the rationale and design for the first statewide study of the effects of expedited Medicaid restoration programs in Connecticut and Washington state prisons on the community adjustment and recidivism of offenders with a severe mental illness. Administrative data from corrections, Medicaid, and public mental health authorities in each state were linked in a longitudinal case/control design (3 years pre-post EMR initiation) using propensity score matching techniques. Findings highlight the characteristics of participating offenders, use and costs of Medicaid-reimbursed services in the community, and subsequent criminal recidivism. Discussion will highlight Medicaid's role in community re-entry for this vulnerable population.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify the rationale and design for a comparative study of expedited Medicaid restoration programs in Connecticut and Washington intended to promote the reentry and community adjustment of prisoners with a severe mental illness.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a Professor of Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and Program Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, UNC-Duke Postdoctoral Training Program in Mental Health Services and Systems Research, and the Gillings Innovation Lab for Mental Health System Improvement.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.