The Pew Report also found West Virginia's per-inmate health spending decreased by 4 percent between 2001 and 2008.
The state spent $4,439 per inmate in 2008, down from $4,623 in 2001.
Rubenstein said several different factors likely contributed to that drop.
He said the state worked with its prison health care contractor, Wexford Health Services, to find ways to control costs.
That included limiting trips to hospitals when prisoners' health issues could be addressed at prison infirmaries and providing some services -- dental work, optical services, and even medical tests like x-rays and electrocardiogram tests -- behind the prison walls.
Rubenstein said the prison system also has instituted a chronic disease management program.
"With proper management of chronic diseases, less complications occur," he said.
He said a 2007 law allowing the Division of Corrections to pay the same amount as Medicaid for health services also has saved money for the prison system.
The Pew Report also detailed ways states could save money on prisoner health care while still ensuring quality care and protecting public safety.
Schiff said Texas prisons have increased their use of "telehealth," Internet video chats between prisoners and primary care physicians and specialists. That saved the state about $780 million between 1994 and 2008.
Other states are enrolling prisoners in Medicaid, although the benefits of this plan are limited.
Medicaid does not cover health services delivered in prison, but can cover prisoners' costs at nursing homes or hospitals where they are admitted for more than 24 hours. This allows states to receive federal reimbursements for inmates' health care.
Schiff said some states are looking at special parole provisions for chronically ill or very old prisoners. California released 47 inmates on medical parole between 2010 and 2012, saving the state $20 million.
West Virginia law also allows for severely sick individuals to be paroled, although Rubenstein said the provision is rarely used.
Schiff said there is no easy fix to the health care spending costs facing U.S. prisons.
"There is no one size fits all solution to state's prison health care challenges," she said, urging lawmakers around the country to examine which options will work best in their states.