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Inmate Hospice Care Transport Cost Opportunity

There is an opportunity to save Connecticut and U.S. tax payers money by reducing transport costs associated with CT's new medical parole plan.

Under CT's Medical Parole law, inmates must be terminally ill which is defined by 6 moths or less to live. The states inmate hospice care plan estimates at least 50 beds will be used by inmates each year. Assuming a six month life expectancy, that's 100 inmate transports a year. 

Transport is one of the seven original wastes using lean principles. To reduce this cost, the state has the opportunity to locate prison hospice care adjacent or near high prison populations. The Osborn Correctional Institution houses one of the largest prison populations in CT. This facility is 31 miles from the proposed nursing home in Rocky Hill, CT. If hospice care was located two miles from the Somers prison it would save the State of CT 94% of transport costs or $54,057 annually.

Savings will increase every year as the number of prisons eliglble for medical parole rises.

This analysis was done using CT ambulance medicaid rates using a conservative assumption that 95% of terminally ill inmates would only require basic ambulance services (no life support). 

Transport Cost What If Analysis

Sec. 54-131c. Medical diagnosis. A diagnosis that an inmate is suffering from a terminal condition, disease or syndrome shall be made by a physician licensed under chapter 370 and shall include but need not be limited to (1) a description of such terminal condition, disease or syndrome, (2) a prognosis concerning the likelihood of recovery from such condition, disease or syndrome and (3) a description of the inmate's physical incapacity. A diagnosis made by a physician other than one employed by the Department of Correction or a hospital or medical facility used by the Department of Correction for medical treatment of inmates may be reviewed by a physician appointed by the Commissioner of Correction or reviewed by the medical director of the Department of Correction. For purposes of this section "terminal condition, disease or syndrome" includes, but is not limited to, any prognosis by a licensed physician that the inmate has six months or less to live.

      (P.A. 89-383, S. 8, 16.)

C. Medical Parole

Public Act 89-383, now codified as Section 54-131a - 54-131g, inclusive, of the Connecticut General Statutes, authorizes the Board to grant medical parole to any inmate serving any sentence (except persons sentenced for a Capital Felony), provided that:

  1. the individual suffers from a terminal illness; and
  2. the individual is so incapacitated by the illness, that he/she is incapable of posing a threat to society.

References:

http://www.ct.gov/doc/cwp/view.asp?a=1499&q=265440

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/pub/chap961.htm

http://www.ngsmedicare.com/wps/portal/ngsmedicare/fees?timeframe=2012&REGION=Connecticut&LOB=Part+B

http://wpsmedicare.com/j8macpartb/resources/provider_types/ambprocedurecodes.shtml

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Harry February 23, 2013 at 09:01 PM
Jesse, One problem, this isn't actually about saving money, it's about getting 6 Million dollars that doesn't belong to us from the federal Gov.
Jesse Colucci February 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM
From a cost savings standpoint alone, I would recommend iCare converting Touchpoints at Chestnut into the proposed facility as it's adjacent to a police station and is a central point between CT's two largest prisons with hospice programs (Somers & Suffield).
Jesse Colucci February 24, 2013 at 01:48 PM
If you change the whatif analysis to 5 miles as East Windsor, Enfield is a central point, the savings is $48k. If you change the conservative assumption that only 5% of hospice inmates will need basic life support to over 75% the savings increases to half a million dollars a year.

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