Opinion: Medicaid during incarceration: a step toward health equity

As a physician caring for chronically ill individuals recently released from incarceration, I’ve become accustomed to working as a detective of sorts, trying to piece together the care they received while incarcerated in an attempt to recreate their medical histories and treatment plans.

Since they are often released without medical records, prescriptions, and other lifesaving information, I ask questions like, “Do you remember your doctor’s name? Was the ride from the prison to the hospital long or short? When you looked out the window, was the ocean on your left or right?” So much of my early work with a new patient feels like getting to the starting line, the place where we can begin providing care.

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