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The Effects of Insurance Status and Medical Need on Community-Based Health Care Access Among Jail Detainees With Serious Mental Illnesses

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 10 Issue: 43 Dated: 2016 Pages: 1386-1405
Caitlin. L. O'Grady; James A. Swartz
Date Published
20 pages
This study assessed factors that affect patterns of pre-incarceration medical service access and use among jail detainees with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders.
The study determined that having insurance was associated with decreased use of emergency care and increased access to routine medical care. Compared with insurance status, medical need was a more important determinant of the frequency of both routine and emergency medical care visits. The researchers believe these results broadly support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, as well as its provisions for medical homes for offender populations. Multivariable logistic and negative binomial models controlling for socio-demographic and psychodiagnostic factors assessed the extent to which insurance status and medical need significantly affected having a regular health care place/provider and number of emergency and non-emergency care visits in the year prior to detention. (Publisher abstract modified)