The CareSource Reentry ProgramTM has won the Health Care Heroes Award in the community achievement category for their work addressing the physical, emotional and social needs of formerly incarcerated Hoosiers reintegrating back into society. The Indianapolis Business Journal’s (IBJ) annual Health Care Heroes Award program recognizes individuals and/or organizations in the central Indiana health care industry who are making a significant impact on the quality of health care in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
“This award is a tremendous reminder of how important our work is not only for our members but for our community,” said Steve Smitherman, president of CareSource Indiana. “We are honored by the IBJ’s recognition.”
In January of 2018, CareSource designed a pilot program with Family Social Services Administration and the Indiana Department of Correction to assist Indiana citizens re-entering their communities. The CareSource Reentry Program is among the first of its kind in the country and serves an often forgotten population that is surrounded by stigma.
As part of the program’s case management approach, CareSource Criminal Justice Liaisons work with offenders while they are still in prison by conducting pre-release education classes within the Indiana Department of Correction Facilities to educate members on the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP). Programs providing this kind of immediate, comprehensive support of ex-offenders have the potential to reduce Indiana’s mass incarceration problem and save taxpayers’ dollars, considering the fact the National Institute of Corrections estimates the U.S. burden of incarceration to exceed $500 billion annually. One example of savings to the state is the reduction of emergency department (ED) utilization. The reentry members engaged in the program have 23% less visits to the ED than the general HIP population.
After release, the reentry team creates a unique plan for each returning citizen based on medical, behavioral and social needs. The ultimate goal is creating self-sufficiency for every returning citizen. CareSource works in conjunction with social workers, nurses and community health workers to address the overall medical and behavioral health needs of returning citizens. Now active in all 15 Indiana prisons, the reentry program has conducted 145 pre-release education classes and completed over 700 Health Needs Screenings and more than 500 transitions plans.
CareSource was featured in a special IBJ publication that recognizes all award recipients and was honored during an in-person event on Friday, May 13.