A critical junction exists between health and home, and it is being brought into the light through recent news about the Medicaid Redesign. However, RUPCO was a pioneer of this concept in 2010 when they successfully implemented the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) program for a resident in Kingston. This was the first time the NYS Department of Health (DOH) and Housing & Community Renewal (HCR) collaborated. Also, in 2012 RUPCO received Residence of the Year honors for the Stuyvesant, which contains 40 supportive housing units for seniors and disabled adults and RUPCO helps people stay housed and healthy. New York currently has plans to create multiple supportive housing units across the state as a part of the Medicaid Redesign.

According to State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah M.D., M.P.H., “A critical component to improving the health of New Yorkers and containing health care costs is to ensure that an individual’s housing needs are also met. By increasing the availability of supportive housing for high-need Medicaid beneficiaries, we will be able to reduce Medicaid costs and improve the quality of care for these individuals.”

“Under the Supportive Housing Initiative, the State is making major investments in affordable housing so that New Yorkers who are most in need have a stable and healthier environment to call home. In the long run, this will mean better health outcomes for vulnerable New Yorkers and savings in the State’s health care system. This is yet another example of New York State leading the nation in effective and efficient health care reform,” stated Governor Cuomo.

It’s important that housing is considered as well as other social aspects of preventative healthcare when redesigning Medicaid. Having a safe and stable environment to call home can allow individuals to focus on other, more enriching aspects of life, rather than focusing on the basic need of shelter. It is exciting to see that this is becoming a reality. Hopefully others will follow in the footsteps of New York State and see that providing affordable housing can be a solution in more ways than historically thought.

New York State seems to be taking another step in the right direction. So far, the Medicaid Redesign Team’s (MRT) housing projects include 12 supportive housing units to be constructed within the next 2-3 years. These units are expected to house and support 4,355 individuals across the state. However, we suspect that these actions will not fully solve the problem. There will still be a great need for not only supportive housing, but other types of affordable housing as well.

For more info about the supportive housing projects check out http://shnny.org/ and http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/docs/2013-06-04_mrt_rfp.pdf

And For more info about RUPCO visit https://www.rupco.org or call 845-331-2140

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