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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Steps to Control Prison Inmate Health Care Costs Have Begun to Show Savings, Report No. 09-07, January 2009
Full report in PDF format

  • The Department of Corrections’ health care costs have increased 37% in the past five years. Factors contributing to this trend are national medical cost inflation, growth in the inmate population and demand for health care, health care staff vacancies that have resulted in the use of more costly temporary employees, and the department’s failure to provide adequate management control over contracted health care in Region IV.
  • Since January 2008, the department has initiated several cost-containment measures that have begun realizing savings. The department reports spending $12.5 million less for inmate health care during the first half of Fiscal Year 2008‑09 than during the same period of the previous fiscal year. These steps include utilization management, staffing initiatives, expanding secure hospital beds, changes to pharmaceutical purchasing and dispensing, and centralized contract procurement. In addition, the Legislature included proviso language in the Fiscal Year 2008-09 General Appropriations Act limiting hospital charges, which saved approximately $3.6 million from July to October 2008.
  • To ensure value and adequacy of contracted inmate health care, the department should further strengthen its contract procurement and monitoring practices.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Correctional Medical Authority (Dept. of Health)
Health Services
Department of Corrections

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 08-71 While DMS Has Improved Monitoring, It Needs to Strengthen Private Prison Oversight and Contracts,published in December 2008.
  • Report No. 07-15 Corrections Experiences Turnover and Vacancies, But Performance Not Diminished,published in February 2007.
  • Report No. 04-61 Progress Report: Inmate Health Care Consolidation Progressing; Privatization Requires Agency Vigilance,published in August 2004.
  • Report No. 02-096 Information Brief: Improvements Needed in Cost Management For Corrections Health Services and Overtime, Results of a Joint Study by the Auditor General and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, published in November 2001.
  • Report No. 00-23 Review of the Department of Corrections,published in December 2000.
  • Report No. 96-22 Review of Inmate Health Services Within the Department of Corrections,published in November 1996.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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