White paper looks at housing-based state Medicaid benefit for disabled, homeless

my newsThe Washington Low Income Housing Alliance has joined with CSH (the Corporation for Supportive Housing) and the Washington State Chronic Homeless Policy Academy to produce a white paper that promotes the concept of creating a new Medicaid benefit that will cover housing-based case management and tenancy support services.

The white paper presents a specific affordable housing and service delivery model that will serve folks who are disabled and are homeless or at risk of being homeless. It is particularly designed to aid people with a serious mental health disorder, chemical dependency disorder, co-occurring mental and chemical disorders and/or multiple, and frequently complex physical health problems. The idea is to provide independent and affordable housing paired with intensive housing-based case management and supportive services that will enable these people with complex needs to recover or manage their illness and live their lives with stability, autonomy and dignity.

There is a considerable body of research that demonstrates that housing-based programs with these goals can provide: significantly improved access to both primary and behavioral health care, improved success for long-term health outcomes for these patients and reduced public costs by reducing demand at emergency health services and other public systems such as jails.

To learn more about how the State of Washington can leverage Medicaid expansion to make positive steps to significantly decrease the homelessness problem, you can access the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance website: www.wliha.org and click on the link about 2/3 of the way down the homepage entitled “Take Action.”

— Submitted by David Gross

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