Housing as Health Care: Policy and Financing Options
March 26, 2015
Outside New York State
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Individuals experiencing chronic homelessness have higher rates of severe mental illness, substance use, disabilities, and chronic medical conditions than the general population.
Homeless individuals have greater rates of emergency department use and hospitalizations than the average person, contributing to a significant increase of costs to the health care system. State and federal policymakers are increasingly searching for cost-effective strategies to care for this population, including supportive housing. One promising approach is the expansion of Medicaid care management through supportive housing, which could reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room use and lower costs. In 2015, the New York Health Foundation awarded Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) a grant to bring together policymakers and experts to develop strategies and recommendations for cost-effective supportive housing models.
Under this grant, CHCS convened senior Medicaid officials from multiple states to discuss financing options, analytical issues, and policy implications that will help New York and other states explore their options related to Medicaid and supportive housing. At the meeting, experts reviewed accessible and cost-effective models for supportive housing; outlined challenges and opportunities in current federal and State Medicaid financing mechanisms; and brainstormed and designed further analysis, financing strategies, and potential policy solutions. CHCS developed a policy brief for stakeholders in New York and participating states on the key themes and recommendations from the meeting.
Read the brief associated with this grant: “Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Medicaid Enrollees: State Strategies.”