Program Helps Homeless with Health Needs

ShelterCareEUGENE, Ore. – ShelterCare and PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center are introducing a pilot program designed to meet the health needs of homeless individuals. The program focuses on homeless individuals who are ready to be released from acute treatment at the hospital, but require additional assistance to fully recover and stabilize in more permanent housing.

“For many uninsured or under-insured people who are homeless, the emergency room is their primary care provider,” said Dan Reece, PeaceHealth program manager for networks of care.

The program is projected to produce net health care cost savings of more than 34 percent per year by reducing hospital lengths of stay and readmissions.

“For these individuals, struggling to nurse major medical issues – such as recovery from surgery, a broken limb or an open wound – can lead to additional complications, expensive readmission and ultimately even prove life-threatening, Reece said.

ShelterCare’s 30-Day Homeless Medical Respite Program and the six-month Extended Medical Respite Program offer stable housing, a community health worker and long-term planning assistance. These services help to reduce recovery times and prevent costly re-hospitalization.

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