Supportive housing providers in Chicago are looking to incorporate Medicaid into their services funding mix to better serve highly vulnerable populations. Over the past two years, through the support of the VNA Foundation, CSH has provided training and assistance to over 20 supportive housing providers in the Chicago-metro area to expand knowledge of Medicaid. The topics covered included how Medicaid funds supportive services in Illinois related to supportive housing, where opportunities exist for income and additional partnerships arising from the expansion of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and steps that providers will need to take to engage effectively with this system. With hospitals, health systems, and Managed Care Organizations in Illinois new provider partners and CSH reviewed what will be expected of supportive housing providers.
In 2014, Polk Bros. Foundation provided CSH a grant to hire National Council on Behavioral Health to work with 15 supportive housing providers to complete a detailed cost and capacity analysis of services delivered in supportive housing. The end result of this project, anticipated in summer 2015, is an accurate cost per unit of service in supportive housing, what services can be billed to Medicaid and the level of grant funds needed to match potential Medicaid dollars. The purpose is to equip agencies with the tools and information needed to move ahead with plans to connect with Medicaid-financed services and to educate both policy makers and funders on how supportive housing services can expand or become more sustainable through healthcare partnerships.