Health Service Utilization and Costs at the Outset of a Permanent Supportive Housing Program: Baseline Evaluation Report
Aug 10, 2020
Homelessness, which refers to the lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, is a pervasive public health issue. This report presents results from an implementation and outcome study of a permanent supportive housing program—including service utilization and associated costs—operated by a large not-for-profit Medicaid and Medicare managed care plan serving more than 1 million members in a region of Southern California.
Homelessness, which refers to the lack of a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, is a pervasive public health issue. This report presents results from an implementation and outcome study of an ongoing permanent supportive housing (PSH) program—including service utilization and associated costs review—operated by a large not-for-profit Medicaid and Medicare managed care plan serving more than 1 million members in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. This PSH program combines a long-term housing subsidy with intensive case management services for adult plan members experiencing homelessness who have one or more chronic physical or behavioral health conditions and represent high utilizers of inpatient health care.
The aim of this report was to determine whether programmatic costs incurred by the health plan supporting the PSH program were partially or fully offset by decreased costs attributable to health care utilization within the health system. The evaluation used a quasi-experimental research design with an observational control group. The authors differentiated the program's effect during the transitional period—that is, after program enrollment and prior to housing placement—from its effect during the period after members were housed. In addition, the authors present participant flow through the key program milestones (e.g., referral, enrollment, housing placement, program exit) and describe health care utilization and associated costs for members who exited the program. Finally, they report the PSH programmatic expenditures relative to the changes in health care costs to provide an overall picture of the intervention's benefits and costs to the health plan.
Comparison Group Enrollment Assignment Procedures and Balance Statistics
Health Care Costs
Mixed Effect Logistic Regression Model Results
Regression Results Excluding Comparison Group Members Referred to the Program