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Reentry and Health Experts Release Roadmap for Evaluating Medicaid Waivers to Promote Safe and Health Reentry from Incarceration to Communities

New Guide from Transitions Clinic Network, The SEICHE Center for Health and Justice and The Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute aligns with the CMS National Quality Strategy

San Francisco, CA—Today the Transitions Clinic Network (TCN), along with its partners at The SEICHE Center and The Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice (HHCJ) Lab, released a roadmap to measuring the effectiveness of the 1115 Medicaid Reentry Wavier, designed to ensure a safe and healthy transition from incarceration to communities.

This groundbreaking initiative by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) partially repeals the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy that had prohibited Medicaid from paying for services provided during incarceration. CMS has encouraged states to apply for the 1115 Reentry Waiver, which allows Medicaid to turn on prior to release so records can be transferred, doctors identified, and appointments booked to ensure a continuum of care and the safe and healthy reentry to communities.

More than a dozen states are preparing to expand Medicaid into carceral systems through the 1115 Medicaid Reentry Waiver. They will be required to collect, analyze, and use data to examine the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the Waiver and to contribute to its continuous improvement.

Informed by existing evidence, the comprehensive roadmap for program evaluation and quality measurement, is a guide to assessing the quality of care delivered to people who are incarcerated and the effectiveness of Reentry Waivers. It identifies a set of prioritized program evaluation components and a starter set of core quality measure domains and measures for states implementing the 1115 Reentry Waiver that are aligned with the CMS National Quality Strategy.

“Turning Medicaid on prior to release is critical because individuals who have been incarcerated have higher rates of medical, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment needs than the general population, but face more barriers to care,” explained Dr. Shira Shavit, Executive Director of Transitions Clinic Network. “At the same time, we need to make sure that the health care and supports we are providing people during the transition is effectively enabling them to return to their communities in a healthy and safe manner.”

The roadmap draws on TCN’s deep experience as key stakeholders in the development and implementation of California’s 1115 Reentry waiver, the first state to gain approval for this type of Medicaid expansion through CalAIM, along with critical insights from its partners SEICHE Center for Health and Justice and The Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice (HHCJ) Lab, to support other states in the waiver’s implementation and measurement. The roadmap was written by health providers and researchers who have worked in carceral and community health systems and included input from community health workers (CHWs) with lived experience, policy experts, correctional leaders, and health plan representatives.

 

The Roadmap can be downloaded here.

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About Transitions Clinic Network (TCN)

The Transitions Clinic Network (TCN) is a national network of community-based, primary care clinics that provide healthcare and social support to people who are reentering their communities after incarceration. TCN’s innovative approach addresses underlying inequities of race and place, leading to better health and criminal-legal outcomes for patients. TCN works upstream to transform health systems to better meet the need of impacted communities by providing training and technical assistance to primary care clinics, hiring and training formerly incarcerated individuals to work as community health workers (CHWs), collaborating with cross-sector stakeholders and promoting community-led policy and expertise that enhances health for populations impacted by the criminal legal system.

 

The Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice (HHCJ) Lab

The Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice (HHCJ) Lab is housed within the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, conducting research that focuses on the complex drivers of health for people with homelessness and/or criminal justice involvement.  Within this context, HHJC studies physical health, mental health, and substance use conditions and the overlapping systemic barriers to health, often driven by structural racism. HHJC’s overarching goal is to improve health for people with homelessness or criminal justice involvement in its communities, in Minnesota, and across the United States through research and collaboration with a broad coalition of partners.

 

SEICHE Center for Health and Justice

The SEICHE Center, a collaboration between Yale School of Medicine and Yale Law School, works to understand and address the extensive public health harms of mass incarceration through clinical care, research, education, and legal scholarship and advocacy. Our team of committed clinicians, researchers, and formerly incarcerated individuals bring together real-world experience and scientific research to identify innovative solutions for addressing the health impacts of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and communities as well as produce evidence-based solutions for decarceration—the process of depopulating prisons and jails and investing in community health and safety.

 

Media Contact:

Beth Parker, bparker@veritycomms.com

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