UnitedHealthcare presented a $50,000 grant to Health Care for the Homeless today as part of an initiative aimed at supporting community-based solutions that integrate social and health care services for low-income residents.
Mike Jones, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Maryland, presented the grant to Health Care for the Homeless at the agency’s headquarters clinic downtown. Guests and community leaders, including supportive-housing clients attended the event to see first-hand the program’s impact in the community through presentations and a facility tour.
The funding will be used to collect data on supportive-housing clients, including hospitalization and incarceration rates, along with clients’ engagement with medical, mental health and addiction treatment plans. These metrics will be used to help inform future program direction and improvements. The program presents a unique opportunity to track the effect of supportive-housing care on quality of life.
Data on homelessness is lacking and often skewed, due to the many definitions of homelessness that exist, and to the challenge in tracking a population that is largely invisible and transient. Gaining widespread acceptance that housing is an essential element of health care is crucial to reducing and ending homelessness.
“UnitedHealthcare supports innovative programs that help break down psychosocial barriers to help enhance quality of life, improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs,” said Jones. “We are privileged to partner with Health Care for the Homeless to help end homelessness for vulnerable people in Baltimore.”
Maryland’s Health Care for the Homeless is recognized nationally for its model supportive-housing program, which offers participants an intensive support network that includes frequent home visits to engage people “where they are” and help them rebuild healthy behaviors and routines.
A University of Maryland study of Health Care for the Homeless’ early supportive-housing efforts found that after six months, more than 90 percent of supportive-housing clients experienced improved health.
“Housing is health care,” said Health Care for the Homeless President and CEO Kevin Lindamood. “Together, we can substantiate that fact with data that will enable us to improve individual clients’ health, and demonstrate how we can improve the health of our larger community through access to stable, secure and supportive housing. We are grateful for UnitedHealthcare’s support, and look forward to a future of greater and many more supportive-housing successes.”
In 2014, Health Care for the Homeless provided comprehensive services to nearly 9,200 people experiencing homelessness, about 1,000 of whom were enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s Medicaid plans.
In the last five years, UnitedHealthcare has invested more than $230 million in supportive-housing programs across the country. The Health Care for the Homeless grant is the company’s latest investment in affordable housing with supportive services for people experiencing homelessness, low-income individuals and families, military veterans, seniors and people with special needs. It is its first such investment in Maryland.
UnitedHealthcare serves more than 800,000 people in Maryland enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare and employer-sponsored health plans with a network of 67 hospitals and more than 17,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.