Help for Homeless Hospital Patients

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EUGENE, Ore. — Homeless hospital patients now have a care facility where they can recover. It not only meets their health care needs, but also reduces financial stress on the health care system.

“We have a long-standing challenge with patients that are homeless that also have a lot of medical issues. They are very vulnerable,” says Dan Reece with PeaceHealth Medical Group.

For many, the emergency room is their primary provider. But once discharged, they have no place to recover. Often times, they end up back in the emergency room.

ShelterCare and PeaceHealth have joined forces to launch two pilot programs. One would house homeless patients for 30 days, where they will have access to medical care and other supportive services.

“Each participant is assigned a community health worker that helps with medical coordination, medical appointments, communicating with medical providers and following through with medical direction,” says Sarah Chapman with the ShelterCare Family Housing Program.

The other program lasts six months. That would help individualsĀ regain stability and find permanent housing.

The programs are projected to produce net health care cost savings of more than 34 percent each year, by reducing hospital lengths of stay and unnecessary emergency room visits.

“The real long term goal is to change lives, so that they can escape homelessness for the rest of their lives and get themselves on a trajectory where their quality of life improves and their health improves,” says Reece.

Respite programs have taken off all across the country and have been proven to reduce future hospitalization for homeless individuals.

Currently, 13 patients are enrolled in the pilot programs in Lane County.


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  1. musicman60 says:

    and who is paying for this and how is it reducing the health care cost who is pay these health care workers that being assigened to each person

  2. Robin says:

    At some point, we need to realize that humanity is costly and messy. And that we need to pay to help people for who can’t pay for themselves. It is not the truly needy or mentally ill who are the problem, but the able bodied people who choose to sponge off the rest of us. I think that is why there is a weariness with all of this.

    And young people who choose to be sponges and entitled eventually become the mentally ill–so we need to come down on them now and demand that they get their acts together and WORK.

  3. Gina says:

    It has long been known that providing costly prenatal care for pregnant women who cannot afford insurance or healthcare is far less expensive than delivering sick babies that spend weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The cost of one NICU baby could easily cover the cost of providiing free prenatal care for hundreds of pregnant women. Same rule applies here. It is less expensive to provide follow-up care for sick homeless people than to let their condition get worse and have them visit the emergency department multiple times. Uncompensated emergency department visits cost all of us much more than providing follow-up care. PeaceHealth and ShelterCare will absorb much of the cost. If the status quo is maintained, we all pay considerably more for our own healthcare to cover the cost of uncompensated and super expensive emergency care for those who cannot afford to pay.

  4. musicman60 says:

    but whay should we support these brats they have familys let them i raised my kids without help it was hard at times but never ask anyone for anything and i expect all to do the same

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