A jail or prison is the health care setting for millions of patients
in the United States. Nevertheless, correctional health care remains largely
an enigma to mainstream medicine and largely disregarded by academic medicine.
The article by Raimer and Stobo1 in this issue
of JAMA describes an uncommon, if not unique, relationship between academic
medicine and a correctional health care system. In this model, 2 Texas medical
schools assumed the responsibility for delivery and oversight of the medical
care for inmates under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice. Direct university involvement in correctional health care resulted
in a more structured delivery of health care services using evidence-based
medicine, greater access to subspecialists (particularly through telehealth),
improved clinical outcomes for chronic illnesses, and cost savings for the
state of Texas.
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