HHS approves Medicaid housing intervention program in Arizona

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Dive Brief:

  • The HHS approved a Medicaid intervention program in Arizona targeting drivers of health outcomes with a focus on housing insecurity, according to a Friday release from the department.
  • It’s the latest 1115 demonstration approval from the agency, following others in Oregon and Massachusetts targeted at expanding access to coverage and addressing nutrition and housing needs.
  • The HHS is encouraging more states to stand up such programs, Secretary Xavier Becerra and CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in the release.

Dive Insight:

Social determinants of health have been increasingly highlighted amid rising healthcare costs and growing acknowledgment that lifestyle and circumstances can dictate health outcomes.

The coronavirus pandemic brought even more attention to the issue, as the virus has disproportionately claimed the lives of people of color and those in underserved communities.

The program in Arizona will focus on making sure Medicaid beneficiaries have adequate housing with resources to help them transition from temporary to more stable living situations.

The intervention will provide support for community and transitional housing for those with unique needs or for people transitioning out of institutionalized care. It will also help provide rent or temporary housing for up to six months for those transitioning out of congregate settings or homeless shelters, according to the release.

Arizona’s Medicaid program will also offer case management and outreach.

The CMS is approving health-related social infrastructure funding to support Arizona’s efforts, and it will require a rigorous evaluation of outcomes and impacts of the program, the agency said.

“Everyone deserves the chance to receive the care they need to live safe and healthy lives,” Becerra said in the release.

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