This briefing, the first in a three-part series exploring the intersection of health and social policy, focused on Medicaid and housing policy. What does evidence say about the relationship between stable housing and health outcomes for various populations? What financial impact can housing have on Medicaid costs, and what potential role can Medicaid play regarding housing policy? What funding sources are state and local officials currently leveraging to provide housing resources? Are there barriers to innovative health and housing approaches?
A distinguished panel of experts addressed these and related questions:
If you were unable to attend the briefing, here are some key takeaways:
Jennifer Ho, senior advisor for housing and services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies projects that the number of older households eligible for rental assistance will increase by 2.6 million people between 2011 and 2030, indicating that HUD would need 900,000 more subsidized housing units by 2030, just to keep up with one in three people who need it, Jennifer Ho stated. HUD has been working with HHS on a Section 811 program which leverages multiple sources of funding to create integrated housing, where Medicaid provides home and community based services, she continued.
Gretchen Hammer, director, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
The number of Coloradans enrolled in Medicaid has increased from about 750,000 prior to the first open enrollment period to 1.2 Million as of August 2015, Gretchen Hammer said. Out of those enrollees, 37,000 reported homelessness in 2015 and accounted for $160 million in spending.
Sister Adele O’Sullivan, founder and physician, Circle the City, Arizona
The Frequent users of systems engagement (FUSE) pilot project resulted in a 73 percent reduction in emergency room visits, and a 74 percent reduction in inpatient utilization, Sister Adele O’Sullivan stated. This program engaged the most frequent homeless utilizers of care and offered medical respite center services, in order to stabilize, assess, and then quickly move individuals to supportive housing.
Ed Howard of the Alliance for Health Reform moderated the discussion.
Follow the Briefing on Twitter: #HealthandHousing
Contact: Beeta Rasouli firstname.lastname@example.org (202)789-2300
Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)