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Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Medicaid Enrollees: State Strategies

Center for Health Care Strategies

New research highlights cost-effective ways to meet the housing and health care needs of chronically homeless people who are enrolled in Medicaid.

Small houses cut out of card in various colors.

People who experience chronic homelessness often also struggle with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, physical and mental disabilities, and chronic medical conditions. These individuals, many of whom are eligible for Medicaid, are more likely to frequently visit emergency departments (EDs) and, as a result, often have high annual health care expenditures.

To identify cost-effective opportunities to address the housing and health care needs of this high-risk population, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) convened federal policymakers from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, and experts in the fields of managed care, housing, and homelessness. With support from CHCF and other funders, the Center for Health Care Strategies captured insights in the brief Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Medicaid Enrollees: State Strategies.

Key opportunities for Medicaid programs to better address the housing needs of the chronically homeless include:

  • Develop alternative metrics for identifying homeless people in existing Medicaid and state data sources
  • Design incentives for health plans to invest in housing-related services
  • Target limited resources to a specific subset of the homeless population
  • Explore alternative financing strategies for housing
  • Increase beneficiary access to housing resource experts
  • Engage advocacy efforts at the federal level

To download the brief, visit the External Link below.

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