RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., Aug. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is addressing the homeless crisis one member at a time. In the first year of their Housing Initiative, IEHP housed 164 homeless members who have chronic health conditions and are high utilizers of health services. The innovative program also assigns members to case managers who provide benefit education and preventative health support.
"We know housing is the cornerstone of better physical and mental health," said Dr. Karen Hansberger, IEHP chief medical officer. "Due to the complex medical conditions of these members, it was critical to pair rental assistance with intensive case management. In doing so, we're able to guide members step-by-step through the medical system, teaching them how to get the right care at the right time. With the security of a home and case management support, our members will be able to lead happier, healthier lives."
Noting the success of the Housing Initiative's ability to identify and enroll the plan's most vulnerable members, the nonprofit RAND Corporation (RAND) recently published a peer-reviewed report based on participant experience prior to housing program entry. RAND analyses found the participants suffered from an average of 17 chronic and acute health conditions, generating a median healthcare expense of $70,447 per patient per year?almost 20 times the cost of an average IEHP member.
Participants were highly likely to use ambulance services and inpatient general hospital care in the year prior to their enrollment. "We don't want our members health to decline to the point of needing these services," said Dr. Hansberger. "The program's case management feature provides members with preventative care, ensuring the stability of their health and reducing the need for emergency or inpatient services."
Using findings as a baseline, RAND will examine the evolution of service utilization, health outcomes and costs of program members in the coming months.
"Permanent supportive housing is the right thing to do," said Jarrod McNaughton, IEHP chief executive officer. "As a health plan, we are incredibly committed to supporting those most vulnerable in our communities and are grateful to the Department of Health Care Services and our federal system for allowing us to take innovative steps in addressing homelessness in our own backyard. We hope this initiative will help our members truly thrive and that the shared information will empower others to take action in their own communities."
IEHP, Inland Empire Health Plan, is one of the top 10 largest Medicaid health plans and the largest not-for-profit Medicare-Medicaid plan in the country. With a network of more than 6,400 Providers and more than 2,000 employees, IEHP serves more than 1.2 million residents in Riverside and San Bernardino counties who are enrolled in Medicaid or Cal MediConnect Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan). Through a dynamic partnership with Providers and Community, award-winning service and innovative products, IEHP is fully committed to advocating for our Members and providing them with quality, accessible and wellness-based health care services. For more information, visit iehp.org.
SOURCE Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP)
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