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Increased Housing, Support Services For Homeless Could Lower Montana Medicaid Cost

Homeless Man Sleeps In A Doorway
Carl Campbell
Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Homeless Man Sleeps In A Doorway

A new report says Montana could save money on Medicaid by providing housing and support services to homeless people.

The 2019 Montana Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Crosswalk was released Tuesday, along with a report from The Montana Department of Health and Human Services,which found that using Medicaid for supportive housing saves money for the state and federal government.

The Montana Healthcare Foundation, the state health department, and other partners commissioned the reports from the Corporation for Supportive Housing.

Sheila Hogan, director of the state health department, said they wanted to know how effectively they’re meeting the needs for people using state Medicaid who are also identified as homeless.

“How do we wrap that Medicaid expansion payer source so that people can get treatment and that they can have adequate housing and so that we can ensure their treatment is successful?” she says.

The study found that providing housing and added services to vulnerable populations, like the elderly and people with intellectual disabilities, could cut down on costs to the state and federal government by about 45 percent.

Copyright 2019 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.
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