Individuals transitioning out of the Department of Corrections system face a number of immediate challenges. Historically, offenders are given a 30-day supply of medications at the time of release. Thirty days is often not an adequate length of time for an individual to locate a medical care provider, be evaluated, and seek financial assistance; all of which is necessary to establish a continuous source of medication. Discontinuing many types of psychiatric medications can lead to the underlying illness or illnesses no longer being under control, an outcome of which could lead to re-incarceration. Providing 90 days of behavioral health medication access may better position the individual for long-term success in his/her community.
Overview: Offenders released from the Iowa Department of Corrections may access up to 90-days of behavioral health medications at no cost. At the time of release, the individual is provided a 30-day supply of all medications. The individual may also have prescriptions for two 30-day refills of behavioral health medications transferred to a participating community pharmacy and filled at no cost to him/her. The DOC Behavioral Health Medication Voucher is limited to mental health medications listed on the DOC Behavioral Health formulary. Eligible prescriptions (two 30-day refills) will be transferred directly to a participating community pharmacy from the DOC pharmacy. Prescriptions must be dispensed in 30-day quantities and will be reimbursed at rates equivalent to Iowa Medicaid. This program has no co-pay.
Eligibility: Any offender released from one of Iowa’s nine DOC facilities with an individual or household income 200% of the federal poverty level or below that is uninsured or underinsured may use a DOC Behavioral Health Medication Voucher. Eligibility will be conducted by DOC staff at the time of release.
How to Participate: Pharmacies interested in participating in the DOC Behavioral Health Medication Voucher Program should contact SafeNetRx at 1-866-282-5817. Offenders eligible to access the program will be provided with the necessary documents at the time of release.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND IOWA’S PRISONS
– 51% OF IOWA’S PRISON POPULATION HAS A CURRENT MENTAL DIAGNOSIS.
– 30% OF IOWA’S PRISON POPULATION HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A SERIOUS MENTAL DISORDER INCLUDING CHRONIC SCHIZOPHRENIA, MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER, BI-POLAR, ORGANIC DISORDERS AND OTHER CHRONIC AND RECURRENT PSYCHOSIS.
– IOWA DOC’S OVERALL RATE OF RECIDIVISM for the three-year period from FY 2011 through FR 2014 IS APPROXIMATELY 29.7%.
– THE RATE OF RECIDIVISM AMONG OFFENDERS WITH BEHAVIORAL HEALTH DISORDERS IS as high as 80%