The State of Georgia is responsible for providing offenders with a constitutional standard of care when they are admitted to the Department's institutions. This includes comprehensive medical, mental health and dental services and all associated ancillary services.
The Department's Office of Health Service (OHS) oversees the delivery of health care services and handles statewide functions such as technical assistance, training, policy development, grievance appeals, clinical-legal issues, contract management and monitoring, budget development and tracking, informatics/analytics and partnership development.
OHS is led by the Assistant Commissioner of Health Services, who reports to the Commissioner and is supported by a Director. A Statewide Medical Director, Statewide Mental Health Director, and Statewide Dental Director serve as the final professional authority for the Department, for their respective health services discipline.
Network of Care
The Department contracts with Wellpath to provide comprehensive medical services statewide and with Centurion to provide comprehensive mental and dental services statewide. Services are provided under a managed care model.
The State of Georgia’s correctional health care system is multidisciplinary and provides offenders with access to such services as medical and dental sick call, emergency care, chronic care, medication management, diagnostic tests and procedures, infirmaries, inpatient hospitalizations and specialty services.
All inmates are screened at a reception center after intake from the county jail, to determine their current medical, dental and mental health care needs. This includes assessments for auditory, mobility and vision disabilities, and the need for specialized mental health treatment.
Within each correctional institution, the contractor provides primary care using a core staff of clinicians (physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, etc.) nurses, mental health and dental professionals and administrators.
- Utilization Management coordinates medical services 24/7
- Medical Reprieve submission to Board of Pardons & Paroles
- Conduct clinical audits of all major facilities
- Develop and maintain Clinical Policy and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Risk management
- Evaluate, treat, and stabilize mentally ill offenders 24/7
- Partner with mental health diversion and reentry programs
- Integrate mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Integrate behavioral medicine with primary care delivery
- Audit and monitor policies, procedures and mental health care delivery
- Provide for access to dental care by licensed dentists and hygienists as summarized in the department's SOPs
- Provide referrals for Oral Surgery specialty services, when indicated
- Maintain accurate statistical data on dental health services provided and pending appointment
- Collaborate with physical and mental health leadership and providers to ensure continuity of care
- Update and maintain dental related policies and SOPs, ensuring all practitioners are adequately informed
For more information on Health Services, click here.