From the very beginning, the mission of CareSource has been to make a lasting difference in our members’ lives and communities by improving their health and well-being. We understand those lives are often complicated and troubled, and we use every resource to help them thrive so they rely less on managed care and more on their own potential. Certainly, our biggest challenges and most promising rewards come from working with our members who have been engaged in the criminal justice system.
Along various points in their lives, some of these clients cycle in and out of jail. When they’re incarcerated, they face a greater risk of contracting an illness, including COVID-19. Then, when they’re released into the community, they’re often ill equipped to stand on their own and, too often, continue to cycle through the justice system.
CareSource is unique in our space because we try to break the cycle by engaging our members before they leave prison. While they’re incarcerated, they’re not covered by Medicaid, but we take the responsibility of bridging the gap between the “before” and “after.”
To address their health while in jail, we created a unique tool that helps jail staff create a communicable disease risk score and prioritize care.
To give the members better tools when they’ve done their time, we’ve established unique community partnerships providing assistance with everything from engaging community treatment and primary care to housing, jobs and transportation.
In fact, CareSource led statewide efforts among all managed care plans in Ohio to respond to the unique needs faced by returning citizens when they re-entered into a COVID-era socially distanced lifestyle. We welcome this opportunity to lead discussion and change for this growing burden on the criminal justice system and the taxpayers who support it.
Because Franklin County, Ohio, has traditionally struggled with high rates of recidivism, CareSource engaged community partners to help address some of the social determinants of health that created obstacles for our high-risk members. Outreaches included:
By establishing a firm foundation for our members’ re-entry from the criminal justice system, we hope to offer them better lives through better opportunities.