Health & Human Services
Hope Has A Home Medical Respite Program
Location: Washington, DC
Quantified Ventures is working with AmeriHealth Caritas DC (AmeriHealth), the largest Medicaid Managed Care organization in the District of Columbia (DC), to finance a significant expansion of medical respite capacity in DC. The goal of this project is to more effectively and appropriately serve the holistic health needs of individuals experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. This program—a new partnership between AmeriHealth, Volunteers of America-Chesapeake, Unity Healthcare, and Pathways to Housing—will address immediate medical services and provide members with the support and connections needed to address underlying chronic conditions, including behavioral health needs. By bringing members out of expensive, acute care settings and advancing their continued recovery in safe and supported environments, this program expects to improve care for AmeriHealth members and significantly reduce costs.
A combination of factors, including poor nutrition, inadequate hygiene, exposure to violence, and the constant stress of housing instability, all have profound negative effects on the health of homeless individuals and families. Individuals already disproportionately burdened with chronic illness are four times more likely to present in the emergency department and five times more likely to be hospitalized—typically involving a longer than average length of stay at a cost of roughly $3,000/day. Once discharged from the hospital, roughly two-thirds of homeless patients spend their first night after discharge at a shelter, and 11% percent spend their first night after discharge on the streets. Neither setting is an appropriate (i.e., safe and supported) environment for healing, but very few other options exist.
Medical respite is a temporary care strategy that is critical to supporting the health of individuals experiencing homelessness. Recognizing the lack of respite care capacity in DC, AmeriHealth Caritas DC engaged with Quantified Ventures to assemble a capable and experienced set of respite program partners to support the design of a customized respite care model and to develop an outcomes-based financing transaction to bring sufficient capital to sustainably support the envisioned program. Now called “Hope Has a Home,” the new program will double respite capacity in DC overall (even more for women), and introduce a missing—and sorely needed—approach to care for those with substance use disorder.
At present, both health plans and hospitals struggle to meet the complex clinical and social needs of individuals experiencing homelessness. With the launch of this new program, this partnership will provide new respite care facilities in DC in the next year, dramatically improving respite care access by more than double. In doing so, it will deliver more appropriate and high-quality care to individuals experiencing homelessness, reduce the overall cost of care, and connect more people to appropriate long-term housing.