Running Header: THE MAINE STATE PRISON HAS THE ABILITY TO CUT COSTS 1
The Maine State Prison has the ability to cut healthcare
costs by using Medical Diets as part of a medical treatments
THE MAINE STATE PRISON HAS THE ABILITY TO CUT HEALTHCARE COSTS 2
Taking prescription medication has become an everyday part of life for many people. Nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. More than half take two, yet every medicine comes with side effects or risks associated with their use. (mayoclinic, June 19, 2013) What if people were informed that health could be improved immensely and medications ...view middle of the document...
55 a day on a moderate food plan, according to October 2011 estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (The Price of Prisons – Maine, 2012) That's pennies compared to what is being paid out for prisoner healthcare expenses. Expenses that could be greatly reduced by paying more mind to what inmates are putting into there bodies.
THE MAINE STATE PRISON HAS THE ABILITY TO CUT HEALTHCARE COSTS 3
All inmates are entitled to medical care and attention as needed to treat both short-term conditions as well as long-term illnesses. The medical care provided must be "adequate." (Rights of Inmates, 2012) That said, giving a brittle diabetic a “regular” meal that would also be severed to a non-diabetic will spike there blood glucose level every time. That same inmate then comes to the treatment clinic for blood sugar testing, and then receives insulin coverage to bring his/her blood glucose back to a normal level. This routine is repeated at every meal. Along with insulin coverage many inmates also take an oral tablet to control blood sugars 1-2 times daily. This treatment is not adequate; it is equivalent to putting a band aide on a broken leg.
A 2009 study by Consumer Reports found that diabetic patients spend an average of $6,000 per
year on costs for treating their disease. This figure includes medications costs, blood glucose monitoring and other related supplies. It does not include any long term medical complications that often arise from the disease (Care and Counseling, 2012). Those who suffer from Diabetes have many other complications related to unstable blood glucose levels. These complications require more invasive treatment. On average, diabetic individuals have 2.6 additional, and potentially life threatening illnesses. Most common are high blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte disorders, chronic pulmonary disease, anemia and kidney failure (Care and counseling, 2012).
Diabetes is just one of the many medical conditions that inmates at the Maine State Prison suffer from. Heart disease is another common healthcare condition. Each year in Maine more than one out of four (26%) of people die from heart disease or stroke (The Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Maine 2012). Diet plays a crucial role in the development and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Comparisons between a diet low in saturated fats, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the THE MAINE STATE PRISON HAS THE ABILITY TO CUT HEALTHCARE COSTS 4
typical diet of someone not making healthy choices show that there is a 73 percent reduction in the risk of new major cardiac events when choosing the healthy diet (World Heart Federation 2014).
Another disease common in the inmate population is hepatitis C (HCV). The percentage of inmates infected with Hepatitis C is significantly higher than that of the general population due to the epidemiology of the disease. On average 13 to 54 percent of inmates suffer from hepatitis C. Recent...