Monday, June 8, 2015

What housers need to know about Medicaid reform and the ACA

News from NHC and the Center
by Janet Viveiros, National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy

Housing is an important influence on, and a social determinant, of health. The new paper from NHC’s Center for Housing Policy, Affordable Housing’s Place in Health Care: Opportunities Created by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reform explains how Medicaid reform initiatives and changes made to Medicaid by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have led the health care sector to focus more on prevention, care coordination and the social needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. Some of the changes to Medicaid by the ACA and other reforms have created openings and incentives for health care organizations to collaborate with affordable housing providers to address the impact of housing on the health of low-income individuals.

The ACA and other Medicaid reforms have created greater flexibility for health care providers and in some cases incentivized investment in social services for patients in order to reduce the use and cost of emergency department care and other acute medical interventions. As health care organizations focus on the comprehensive needs of low-income individuals, there are opportunities for affordable housing organizations to work with, or receive funding from, some health care organizations to provide housing and supportive services to Medicaid beneficiaries. 

The report identifies these opportunities and describes promising programs and developments in different parts of the country. It offers an overview of areas where the health and housing sectors overlap where affordable housing providers, healthy housing organizations and advocates can pursue collaborations with health care organizations.

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