DataLink’s EMR team studied the 2017 Pew Charitable Trust research to better understand the cost and quality of health care in prisons and to see how to best support the population and its conditions. The report examines the factors driving costs by analyzing data for all 50 states’ prison health care spending from 2007 to 2017.  The report outlines strategies that states are using to manage spending, including the use of telehealth technology, improved management of health services contractors, Medicaid financing, and medical and geriatric parole. As states worked to manage prison health care expenditures, a downturn in spending was a positive development without impacting access to quality care. The states continue to face a variety of challenges that threaten to drive costs back up—most significantly a steadily aging prison population.

Prison Health Care Costs and Quality. The Pew Charitable Trust. October 18, 2017. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2017/10/prison-health-care-costs-and-quality