New York City-based HCA Member Selfhelp Community Services offers a wide range of programs and interventions, from senior housing to case management and home care, which help individuals “age-on-pace,” providing an environment that supports the optimal health of residents with the appropriate level of targeted services at the appropriate time.
This breadth of services, coupled with pioneering service delivery models, has made Selfhelp an especially fitting subject for a recent study on the effectiveness of supportive housing and community-based service delivery in addressing social determinants of health, ultimately saving big on Medicaid (as well as Medicare) costs.
We urge state policymakers to look closely at Selfhelp’s outcomes in light of HCA’s budget proposals to address health disparities and social determinants of health.
The study was recently published in Health Affairs by leading researchers at Rutgers, NYU and Columbia University. It examined the health outcomes of elderly individuals at Selfhelp’s residential buildings (where residents received a unique blend of supportive services) in comparison to similar individuals residing at other buildings in the same zip code.
According to claims data, Selfhelp’s hospitalization rates for individuals receiving supportive services (median age of 80) were substantially lower than the comparison group at a median age of 74. The hospitalization rates were 24% versus 32% under Medicaid and 8.8% versus 12.9% under Medicare. The median hospital length of stay was 1 day shorter, and Selfhelp residents with chronic diseases were 43% less likely to be hospitalized. Also, the average Medicaid cost per hospitalization was approximately one-third the cost for residents without the intervention ($1,778 compared to $5,715).
Exceptional outcomes are occurring across New York’s home care system. Policymakers need only to consider and leverage them as positive ways to improve health and cost savings. This beacon study is a signal of the great work being done traditionally in home care as well as the possibilities under innovative models like those HCA has advanced for consideration in the state budget process.