City & County Government & Homeless Providers “On the Ground”
  • Re-organize and re-deploy existing shelter capacity.
  • Lift any ordinances and require 24/7 shelters.
  • Create additional capacity to safely house people at risk while supporting the local motel/hotel and service industries.
  • Follow protocols and quarantine individuals testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Expand Medical Respite Care capacity.
  • Work with housing providers on plans to transition individuals from respite to supportive housing, as needed.
State Medicaid Agencies
  • Allow use of expanded services for homeless, complex care populations.
  • Expand Medicaid eligibility for homeless adults.
  • Presumptive eligibility for homeless individuals.
  • Eliminate out of pocket costs.
  • Suspend prior authorization or utilization management policies.
  • Add Medical Respite as a Medicaid benefit.
  • Allow FQHCs to bill for services in non-traditional settings.
  • Promote the use of telehealth.
Federal Appropriations

Federal stimulus packages should include:

  • Funding for state and local homeless systems through the Emergency Solutions Grants formula grant programs
  • Funding for emergency housing stabilization and supportive housing through a program similar to the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Programs
Managed Care Organizations (MCOs)
  • Deploy housing navigators to provide logistical support.
  • Contract with Healthcare for the Homeless.
  • Coordinate with FQHCs. Many FQHCs, particularly Healthcare for the Homeless providers, are already working to respond to COVID-19 and the needs in their community.
  • Finance Medical Respite care. Managed care organizations should include medical respite as a billable service (as allowed by state) to strengthen and expand medical respite capacity.
  • Reimburse FQHCs for eligible services provided to unsheltered Medicaid recipients delivered in encampments, on the street, or other places where the unsheltered recipient resides or is found.
  • Convene stakeholders to create Medical Respite and other medical transitional housing resources.

Read the full article about homelessness & COVID-19 at National Alliance to End Homelessness.