An analysis by the Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CORE) found that when Medicaid-covered residents moved into one of 145 different affordable housing properties in Portland, Oregon, health care experiences changed dramatically. Over the following year, these residents used more primary care by 20 percent, had fewer emergency department visits by 18 percent, and accumulated lower medical expenditures by 12 percent. Residents also reported better access to and quality of health care. It was also found that integrated health services were a key driver of health care outcomes.
While the Health in Housing study was conducted in Oregon, the results hold national implications for health care systems, payers and policy makers looking for upstream solutions to address major health care needs and fulfill health care reform goals. Housing with integrated health services is an important solution toward bending the health care cost curve.