The cost for providing bridge medication program for individuals returning to the community after prison in Missouri has now been included in the health care contract by the Missouri Department of Corrections and will be administered by Corizon Health and Rx Outreach through December.
Through the Healthy Re-Entry program, people are released from Missouri correctional facilities with 30 days of medication and receive an additional 60 days of mental health medication at no cost to the individual. The program provides enough medicine so people don’t run out of medications before they can get an appointment with a clinic in the community.
“Healthy Re-Entry not only improves the quality of life for individuals receiving bridge medications, it also improves public safety and offers potential savings to the State of Missouri,” said Ralf Salke, VP of Business Development for Rx Outreach.
“By providing returning citizens with $20 worth of mental health medication, it helps keep them stable during release and transitioning them back into the community, effectively saving thousands of taxpayer dollars per year.”
Over 8,000 people received more than 40,000 prescriptions for free upon release from Missouri prisons through the Healthy Re-Entry program which operated from 2016-2019. The program was piloted in St. Louis in 2016 and expanded to rural Missouri in 2017 and to Kansas City in 2018. All people released from Missouri prisons on parole were enrolled.
The program faced funding issues and ceased in November of 2019. At that time, it was entirely funded through private donations from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, the Sidney R. Baer Foundation, Corizon Health, and the Missouri Foundation for Health.