Hospitals To Pay For Housing
This may well mark a turning point in the current US sick care system where the Federal Government could pursue a more holistic approach to health and allow hospitals to pay for housing and proper nutrition.
For many decades, dollars only went for medical care: hospital stays, physician visits, pharmaceuticals, skilled nursing facilities, etc. More recently, however, there has been a pronounced change in what ails us, namely chronic diseases that can only be addressed by changes in lifestyle and other “social determinants of health.” This “whole person” approach is the essence of HealthCare Too and we are proud to be part of the wave of healthcare transformation!
HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday said Medicaid may soon allow hospitals and health systems to directly pay for housing, healthy food or other solutions for the “whole person.”
In a speech to the Hatch Foundation for Civility and Solutions in Washington, Azar said Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation officials are looking to move beyond existing efforts to partner with social services groups and try to manage social determinants of health as they see appropriate.
“What if we gave organizations more flexibility so they could pay a beneficiary’s rent if they were in unstable housing, or make sure that a diabetic had access to, and could afford, nutritious food?” Azar said in his prepared remarks. “If that sounds like an exciting idea … I want you to stay tuned to what CMMI is up to.”
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