Utah Department of Corrections

Health Care Costs

Health care delivery is a costly business. However, a program can succeed in delivering quality care at a minimized cost by effectively managing resources. This is achieved at Corrections through careful decision-making, cost consciousness, and a preventative medical philosophy. Clinical Services strikes a delicate balance between meeting patients' needs and being responsible stewards of public funds.


Costs in Comparison

A recent look at Utah's prison system per capita medical costs showed a total of fewer than $4,000 per inmate, per year. That is far below the national average of more than $6,000, and it is the lowest in the nation among states that incarcerate fewer than 10,000 offenders. The graphic below - information taken from a 2011 edition of Corrections Compendium - shows a comparison of those costs among states with fewer than 10,000 offenders.

The difference is partially the result of age demographics. The Utah inmate average age is lower than the national average. Additionally, Utah has a policy against elective procedures. Savings also occur through tight control of chronic health care issues, the judicious use of compassionate medical releases in conjunction with the Board of Pardons & Parole, and selective medication use that meets medical objectives at the lowest possible cost.