I am a US Public Health Service Commissioned Officer who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a pharmacist. When inmates come to federal prison, they have the same access to care and receive the same level of care regardless of their status or socio-economic background. Through a collaborative practice agreement with our clinical director, our pharmacists are able to run clinics, such as anticoagulation and diabetes to help care for inmates, reduce provider burden and hospitalizations. As a result, I have seen marked improvements to inmates’ health.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons Healthcare system is an excellent model for our communities to adopt. In order to reduce Medicare and Medicaid cost and still support the President’s initiative to provide affordable health care to all Americans, I am proposing that mini clinics be set up around the nation to treat diabetes, hypertension, lipids and HIV, free of charge to the uninsured and to those on Medicare or Medicaid. I also propose that these clinics be run by Commissioned Corps Officers of the US Public Health Service, who are highly trained health care professionals that are currently being utilized by agencies such as the Bureau of Prisons, Indian Health Service and The FDA. As a Commissioned Corps Officer, I believe that we should be providing health services to the public as our name suggests.
These services will reduce the long-term complications of these conditions, that often lead to ER visits and hospitalizations that cost the Government millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid expenses. There will be no billing of Medicare or Medicaid for these services, as they will be provided by an already existing Federal workforce. Not only will this help patients and save money, but it will generate more jobs across the country.