Highlighted Project: Housing is Health

Within clinic and hospital walls, the connections between housing and health care are well known. Providers working with vulnerable populations know first hand how housing insecurity and homelessness affect the health outcomes of the people they treat.

Today, new models of care and new expectations for health systems have highlighted the connection. Yet, while there are many studies on the importance of affordable housing, few directly explore the links between housing and health care.

CORE is helping to change that. Working with health systems and housing advocates, CORE is doing some of the most comprehensive research in the country about the effect of housing on cost and access to services.

Health in Housing

February 2016 with Enterprise Community Services, Meyer Memorial Trust and Health Share of Oregon

"The report provides invaluable insights on how we can work with new partners and advance programs that fulfill the promise of accountable care. Stable, affordable housing provides the foundation to provide readily accessible, patient-focused health care.” Janet L. Meyer, CEO, Health Share of Oregon.

This study was one of the first to assess the impact on health care costs when low-income individuals move into affordable housing. The research explored the link between affordable housing and health care through the lens of several national health reform metrics: better connection to primary care, fewer emergency department (ED) visits, improved access and quality, and lower costs.

Medicaid claims data were used to measure changes in health care cost and use, and survey data were used to examine health care access and quality. The study included 145 housing properties of three different types: family housing, permanent supportive housing, and housing for seniors and people with disabilities.

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Bud Clark Commons

April 2014 with Home Forward and Health Share of Oregon

Bud Clark Commons (BCC) provides 130 apartments and supportive services for some of Portland’s most vulnerable homeless residents.

Over the course of four years, the Centers for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) reviewed Medicaid claims data of 98 residents to reveal whether and how health care utilization and costs changed after moving in to the property. To provide an even deeper analysis, CORE used personal surveys with the residents to learn more about their health status, health care use and levels of trauma they had experienced in their lives and whether that changed after having permanent housing.

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