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Inspector general reports on problems in prison health care

The Office of the Inspector General, in its semiannual report to Congress, details problems within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Among the issues reported:

  • While the bureau has implemented cost containment strategies, it generally does not maintain analytical data to assess the impact that individual initiatives have had on health care costs.
  • Institutions did not always provide recommended preventive medical services to inmates and didn't consistently provide inmates with the medical services recommended by BOP guidelines.
  • The bureau allowed some health care providers to practice medicine without valid authorizations.
  • Some institutions still lacked appropriate controls in  verification of contractor invoices and inadequate supporting documentation for billings.
  • The BOP’s methods to accumulate and report health-related performance measures were inconsistent, and that the data was not analyzed to evaluate the performance of BOP institutions.

The OIG made 11 recommendations regarding the provision of inmate health care, and the BOP agreed with all of the recommendations.