First Match of State Medicaid and Homelessness Data Reveals Opportunities To Improve Health Outcomes, Reduce State Costs

Many of Medicaid’s highest cost beneficiaries are individuals with complex and co-occurring health and behavioral health challenges experiencing homelessness and housing crisis. For these individuals, homelessness exacerbates chronic illnesses by increasing exposure to trauma and high-risk behaviors and, in turn, results in social isolation and difficulties accessing the coordinated primary and behavioral health services needed to manage and expedite recovery.

The interaction between homelessness and complex health conditions often times results in the frequent use of costly emergency health services, like detox and emergency departments, as well as repeat avoidable hospitalizations. Research shows that these costs can be avoided through a combination of stable housing, health care coordination, and community-based service delivery.

In January 2012, CSH helped to facilitate a data match between the CT Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and CT Department of Social Services to better understand the Medicaid utilization of homeless high utilizers in CT.  This match identifies a cohort of 419 people who are homeless, high utilizers of Medicaid services who could benefit from permanent affordable housing coupled with support services to better connect them to care and improve outcomes.

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