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Analysis

Resources for Helping Homeless Patients

By Revenue Cycle Advisor  
   September 23, 2020

For those who are independent at a wheelchair level or in need of some minor or light assistance, it is difficult to find shelter.

A version of this article was first published September 22, 2020, by HCPro's Revenue Cycle Advisor, a sibling publication to HealthLeaders.

Q: A recent study by the California Lab Policy reported 50% of unsheltered individuals experience "tri-morbidity" (co-occurring physical health, mental health, and substance abuse challenges), compared to just 2% of sheltered individuals. What can case managers do to assist these patients?

A: Helping these individuals find services to meet their needs is an ongoing challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made it harder.

“It’s very difficult for the homeless to find shelter from March through November, as that is when a good percentage of the shelters close,” says Ellen Walker, LCSW, ACSW, manager of social work at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois.

There are even more challenges for patients with special needs. For those who are independent at a wheelchair level or in need of some minor or light assistance, it is difficult to find shelter. “Many shelters won't take them if they need any type of assistance or even if they are independent but use a wheelchair, as they are not always wheelchair accessible,” says Walker. “Other issues are those who have developmental disabilities. There are no emergency shelters set up to assist them. It is a huge problem.”

To help these patients, Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP, author of the HCPro book The Social Determinants of Health: Case Management’s Next Frontier, recommends exploring the following resources:

Revenue Cycle Advisor combines all of HCPro's Medicare regulatory and reimbursement resources into one handy and easy-to-access portal. News is not just repeated from other sources. It is analyzed by our Medicare experts so professionals can comprehend any new rule and regulatory updates thoroughly. Learn more.


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