Regulatory Agency Paper: Prison Health Care Agency

Topics: Health care, Medicine, Medical ethics Pages: 6 (1497 words) Published: August 28, 2014

Prison Health Care Agency
HCS/430 Legal Issues in Health Care: Regulation and Compliance August 4, 2014
Prison Health Care Agency
There are many facets in the health care industry. Examples include hospitals, urgent care centers, physicians’ offices, medical labs, and more. One not really spoken about, is the prison health care system. Prison health care is the medical treatment of inmates in the United States Correctional Facilities (Means & Cochran, 2012) this is according to the report. The National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) is a federal agency that oversees the medical needs of prisoners. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In 2012, the number of admissions to state and federal prison in the United States was 609,800 offenders (Carson & Golinelli, 2013). With these prison inmate statistics, clearly there is a need for health care in the prison system. The NCCHC is a federal agency that was constructed to improve the quality of health care in the prison setting. The NCCHC was founded in the early 1970’s. The American Medical Association (AMA) executed a study on the conditions of jails. The AMA found “inadequate, disorganized health services, and a lack of national standards” (National Commission on Correctional Health Care, 2013). The National Commission on Correctional Health Care states their mission is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities. They support their mission with the help of other national organizations, mirroring the fields of health, and law and corrections, examples include The American Bar Association, The American Medical Association, The Academy of Pediatrics, and The American Dental Association. The NCCHC cannot fulfill its’ mission without the proper structure within the agency. This organization is comprised of accreditation and facility services, health professional certification, education and conferences, standards and guidelines, and a board of directors from supporting organizations. These supporting organizations play a role in helping the NCCHC fulfill its’ mission and roles for the prison health care system. The board of directors role is ensuring all guidelines are adhered to and assessing the overall direction and strategy of the organization. The NCCHC has many roles and standards for their organization. One of the most important is patient safety. Put in place are patient safety systems to ensure prisoners are receiving proper care. Another role of NCCHC is continuous quality improvement. Continuous quality improvement is the process of requiring each prison facility to complete a process study on inmates needing health care services. “Process studies examine the effectiveness of the health care delivery process. Outcome quality improvement studies examine whether expected outcomes of patient care were achieved” (Rechtine, D., 2008). There must be a review in the event of a patient’s death. Proper procedures must be followed. The NCCHC requires health care professionals to continue their education by completing annual certification classes. Initial health assessments must be performed on each new inmate within 7 days of arrival to the facility. These health assessments are to be given by board certified and trained registered nurses or midlevel practitioners, followed by a physician’s review. If a prisoner is at risk for suicide, there is a prevention program in place with treatment plans. Any inmate with special needs requires an individualized treatment plan provided by a doctor. The NCCHC has put in place a chronic disease program for inmates, which requires the physicians to document in a patient’s medical chart, making sure they are following the correct disease procedures. The impact that NCCHC have on health care is one that relates to their mission. The mission, role, and impact has a direct association with each other. Providing quality health care for incarcerated...

References: Carson, A., & Golinelli, D. (2013). Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-
2012. Retrieved from:
National Commission for Correctional Health Care. (2012). Promoting Excellence in Health
Care: About NCCHC. Retrieved from:
Rechtine, D. (2008). NCCHC’s New Standards and the Role of the Physician. Retrieved from:
U.S. Department of Justice. (2012). About the Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved from:
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