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Medicaid demonstration expands access to short-term housing assistance

Pollack CE, Souza T
Health Affairs Forefront

On March 31, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will—for the first time—enable states participating in the Medicaid Money Follows the Person demonstration to be fully reimbursed for short-term housing assistance. This demonstration is designed to increase states’ use of home and community-based services (HCBS) and help people with disabilities transition out of inpatient facilities to community-based settings.

The newly announced flexibility provided to pay for short-term housing assistance—which can include rental and utility assistance together with a comprehensive set of housing-related support services—recognizes the difficulties of securing housing as individuals with disabilities transition from inpatient facilities to home and community-based settings. It further represents an important extension of Medicaid’s on-going initiatives that are testing policies designed to improve coordination between state housing and health agencies and promote safe and affordable community-based housing options.

In this article, we first provide a background on recent efforts to promote housing stability for people eligible for home and community-based services. We then delineate the ways in which the new rules aim to address on-going challenges within the program and describe other Medicaid-related efforts to support housing-related needs. Finally, we highlight the need to study these initiatives as critical efforts to bridge housing and health care.

Pollack CE, Souza T. Medicaid Demonstration Expands Access to Short-Term Housing Assistance. Health Affairs Forefront. Published June 9, 2022. Available online.

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Commentaries & Blogs
Social Determinant of Health
Housing Stability