This month, the five member states of the National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) Health and Housing Institute are marking their first anniversary of breaking down agency silos and advancing reforms to improve health and housing for vulnerable populations, including those experiencing homelessness, struggling with behavioral health or substance use disorders, or transitioning out of institutions.
Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, and Texas have each made significant strides in their housing reforms by:
- Making effective use of data;
- Sharing data across agencies and programs;
- Exploring financing for permanent supportive housing;
- Increasing housing options for Medicaid beneficiaries; and
- Developing sustainable cross-agency financing.
Group learning conference calls have supported state team participants in engaging with experts on a variety of topics, including pay-for-success and return on investment in supportive housing, Medicaid waiver authorities, federal housing policy, and more. NASHP also has provided individual technical assistance to states and has published some of the resulting research, including Tenancy Supports in Three States’ Medicaid Waivers, State Housing and Services Options in 1915(c) Waivers for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Reasonable Accommodation Appeals Resources.
The Health and Housing Institute states have been using this assistance to develop and implement Medicaid waivers and contract opportunities. Some of their recent successes include:
- Leveraging Medicaid dollars for housing transition and tenancy-sustaining services;
- Working toward data sharing between managed care organizations and Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS);
- Addressing social determinants of health through value-based payment systems or managed care/coordinated care settings;
- Utilizing supports under Money Follows the Person to test the impact of tenancy support services available through Medicaid targeted case management and mental health rehabilitation services; and
- Developing pilot programs to work with health systems to advance supportive housing. Some of these include programs highlighting behavioral health transformation, which assists people with behavioral health conditions to find sustainable housing.
States will continue their work with the institute during the next two years. The newly developed resources resulting from their initiatives to improve health and housing for vulnerable populations will be featured on NASHP’s Housing and Health Resources for States, and presented at the #NASHPCONF19 annual health policy conference, scheduled for Aug. 21-23, 2019, in Chicago, by NASHP’s Health and Housing Institute state participants.
The Health and Housing Institute is supported through NASHP’s Cooperative Agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), grant #UD3OA22891, National Organizations of State and Local Officials.