In a recent article published by First Report Managed Care, Jennifer Forster, director of Medicaid Strategy at HMS Eliza shares her insight in regards to improving outcomes by providing nonmedical benefits that have previously been posing as barriers to their overall health. In the article, Jennifer notes that addressing social determinants of health is an integral part of delivering healthcare but provides many challenges such as:
1. Identifying people who are facing socioeconomic barriers to care
2. Addressing the cost of providing extra services, particularly for health plans that serve Medicaid and dually-eligible persons
3. Figuring out how to coordinate these services
A main focus of the article is on the critical connection between members’ access to basic necessities and their health. For example, patients who are in stable housing often have better access to healthcare and overall health than patients who don’t have housing. Forster highlights a successful housing program in California, explaining that providing permanent housing support for the 10% of homeless people in Los Angeles with the highest cost needs resulted in a more than 70% reduction of total health care costs per person.
Further evidence shows the importance of housing in terms of reported overall health, comes from data collected during a pilot project in Hawaii in which medical costs of homeless patients dropped by 43% within six months of securing housing and supportive services. Another pilot project in Florida showed that a $1.6 million investment by a hospital in a program that placed chronically homeless people in housing with support services, resulted in saving about $2.5 million in medical care for just six high health care utilization patients.
Read the full article here.
Interested in learning more about how nonmedical benefits can improve outcomes, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 844.343.1441.