Health system-based housing navigation for homeless patients: A new care coordination framework
Homeless patients are among the most disadvantaged in our society, suffering from poor health outcomes and exhibiting disproportionately high hospital utilization and spending. However, to date, hospitals have only scantily devoted time or resources to the housing coordination aspect of homelessness. Implementing better systems to coordinate housing for homeless patients may improve health outcomes and reduce health care utilization for this population. This objective is now more important than ever as the economic impact of COVID-19 is expected to exacerbate the homelessness crisis. Ensuring that patients are properly connected to temporary or permanent housing is valuable to patient health, health care system metrics such as excess spending and utilization, and provider performance under Accountable Care Organizations or other risk-bearing payment models. Here, we propose a health systems-based housing coordination framework that may improve care delivery for patients experiencing homelessness. This framework relies on the coordination between dedicated hospital-based housing navigators who can identity patients experiencing homelessness and outpatient housing navigators equipped to coordinate short- and long-term housing specifically for patients experiencing homelessness who frequently interact with the health care system.
Velasquez DE, Mecklai K, Plevyak S, Eappen B, Koh KA, Martin AF. Health system-based housing navigation for homeless patients: a new care coordination framework. Healthc. 2022;10(1):100608. doi:10.1016/j.hjdsi.2021.100608 PMID: 34999493.