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 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.