Funder Spotlight: van Ameringen Foundation

From its beginning, the New York City-based van Ameringen Foundation has funded prevention, education, and direct care in the mental-health field, with an emphasis on those individuals and populations having an impoverished background and few opportunities.

In June 2015, CSH was fortunate enough to receive a two-year, $150,000 grant from van Ameringen Foundation to support the integration of housing and healthcare so that New York State can achieve its Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) goals through supportive housing solutions.

With this generous support, CSH laid the groundwork for a one-year agreement with the Bronx Health and Housing Consortium, a collaborative network of 49 health, housing, social service and government agencies with the shared goal of streamlining client access to quality health care and housing in the Bronx. As part of a Bronx Frequent User initiative, CSH and the Consortium are educating the lead Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Performing Provider Systems (PPS) serving the Bronx on the housing needs of homeless and unstably housed frequent users of hospitals and other systems, evidence-based models for serving this populations, and potential funding streams.

Drawing on CSH’s extensive experience leading frequent, high-cost users initiatives, we are providing training and technical assistance to the Bronx heath and housing stakeholders to ensure the implementation of best practices in identifying the highest need individuals in their systems.

To build on this, CSH convened a New York City Medicaid Health Homes knowledge exchange roundtable last June at the New York State Health Foundation, which also supports our work, and invited representatives from NYC Health Homes, care management entities and supportive housing providers.

In November 2015, CSH released a first-of-its-kind assessment of the need for supportive housing across eight communities and seven geographic areas of New York State, including New York City. The goal was to better utilize existing data to understand where the greatest concentration of supportive housing needs are in the state and to assist decision-makers in efficiently allocating supportive housing resources to New Yorkers who are struggling with, or at risk of, homelessness. Using the findings from the needs assessment, CSH is working to ensure that MRT programs are targeting high-need, high-cost frequent users.

Our partnership with van Amerigen Foundation continues this fall when CSH will utilize support from the Foundation and others  to convene a Managed Care symposium exploring the potential role managed care organizations and other crucial DSRIP stakeholders play in targeting high-need, high-cost Medicaid members who frequently and often inappropriately utilize costly hospital and other public systems.  Symposium participants will learn about the innovative approaches other states are using to leverage Medicaid and health plan insurance funds to support the work of supportive housing providers with the goal of increasing capacity to house homeless, frequent users of multiple public systems and thereby lower costs for taxpayers.

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