Chronic homelessness and chronic illness often go hand in hand; individuals struggling with housing insecurity frequently suffer a range of health problems that require hospitalization. Unfortunately, lacking stable housing where they can recuperate renders these newly discharged patients more likely to return to the hospital.
Recognizing that housing is healthcare, many healthcare organizations, particularly hospitals, now seek ways to address this social determinant of health (SDOH) by identifying housing barriers in their communities and developing initiatives to improve housing availability.
Homelessness and Healthcare: Creating a Safety Net for Super Utilizers with Medical Bridge Housing spotlights a California partnership that provides medical 'bridge' housing to homeless patients following hospitalization. This recuperative care initiative reduced avoidable hospital readmissions and ER visits and significantly lowered costs for the collaborating organizations.
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In this 22-page resource, Paul Leon, CEO, Illumination Foundation, outlines the Chronic Care Plus Program, a joint venture pilot that began as an ER diversion project and now offers community-based stabilization for medically vulnerable chronically homeless patients.
Developed by the Illumination Foundation and St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange County, Calif., the pilot resulted in an actual facility that accrued $2.8 million each year in savings over a two-year period.
In Homelessness and Healthcare: Creating a Safety Net for Super Utilizers with Medical Bridge Housing, Leon describes the following program elements:
- The origins of recuperative care or 'medical respite care' for patients that are unstably housed;
- Profile of 'Joe,' a typical Chronic Care Plus client, and participant criteria;
- Overcoming the challenges of medical education management in an unstable population;
- Benefits of retaining clients in the Chronic Care Plus program for as long as possible;
- Chronic Care Plus assessment of and approaches to SDOH barriers, including financial literacy, job readiness, transportation, mental health connections, and others;
- Analytics to demonstrate Chronic Care Plus savings from medical avoidance;
- Importance of addressing behavioral health issues to avoid 'losing' clients back to the community;
- Steps for moving clients along the care continuum from recuperative care to long-term housing;
- Lessons learned from the Chronic Care Plus pilot that inform the 'Street2Home' program;
- and much more.
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