Perceived Care Coordination Among Permanent Supportive Housing Participants

Evidence from a Managed Care Plan in the United States

Published in: Health and Social Care in the Community (2021). doi: 10.1111/hsc.13348

by Alina I. Palimaru, Ryan K. McBain, Keisha McDonald, Priya Batra, Sarah B. Hunter

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Homelessness is a pervasive public health problem in the United States (U.S.). Under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, the nation's public health insurance program (Medicaid) was expanded to serve more individuals, including those experiencing homelessness. Coupled with changes in financial incentives designed to reduce healthcare costs, health plans, hospitals and large health systems have started to operate permanent supportive housing (PSH) programmes as a healthcare benefit. To better understand patient perceptions of care coordination in a PSH programme operated by a large health plan in Southern California, we conducted 22 semi-structured in-depth patient interviews between October and November 2019. Two coders analysed these data inductively and deductively, using pre-identified domains and open coding. Coding reliability and thematic saturation were also assessed. Findings indicated positive experiences with care coordination for physical health and social supports, such as food distribution and transportation. Identified service gaps included mental health support and help securing public assistance (e.g., cash benefits). Opportunities to enhance PSH care coordination were also identified, such as the need for a simplified approach. Hospitals, health plans and systems considering PSH programmes may look to these results for implementation guidance.

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