Across the nation, health and human service providers are coming together to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals in their communities. Traditionally the delivery of medical and social services in the United States has been fragmented, with services split among multiple programs and providers, each of which is often unaware of the services delivered by the other. This is especially true for services related to the social determinants of health – the personal, family, economic, and social circumstances that impact an individual’s well-being. If these social factors are not taken into account, medical providers are, in essence, operating half-blind to underlying circumstances that directly impact patient health. Fortunately, there is tremendous progress in providing whole person care which takes into account all aspects, including the social determinants, of an individual’s health. One population greatly benefiting from this trend is individuals experiencing homelessness.
Homeless individuals often have multiple chronic health conditions which are exacerbated by the lack of stable housing. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, “Housing for Health” program, seeks to solve this crisis. Recently highlighted in the LA Times for their efforts, Housing for Health has improved population health by successfully placing homeless individuals in supportive housing and then providing intensive case management for issues such as chronic health conditions, substance abuse, behavioral health, and employment.
When asked why the Department of Health is concerned with housing, director, Marc Trotz, explains, “What I really need on my prescription pad is a prescription for housing. I have the tools to control their high blood pressure, to control diabetes, but it doesn’t add up to a hill of beans for a homeless person if they’re living on the street.”
The Los Angeles Housing for Health program has demonstrated that incorporating care coordination with supportive housing results in a better experience for patients, better health outcomes, and reduced cost, even when accounting for the additional cost to provide housing and case management services. Their program care model includes:
- Incorporating the social determinants of health into healthcare decisions
- Linking primary care and community services
- Creating a seamless patient journey through intensive case management
Eccovia Solutions is proud to partner with Los Angeles County Health Services to provide the targeted case management solution for their Housing for Health program. Our ClientTrack case management platform provides the needed tools to track and manage patient outcomes, and enables the secure exchange of electronic health information across multiple providers and agencies.