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Temporary Financial Assistance Decreased Health Care Costs For Veterans Experiencing Housing Instability.
Nelson RE, Montgomery AE, Suo Y, Cook J, Pettey W, Gundlapalli A, Greene T, Evans W, Gelberg L, Kertesz SG, Tsai J, Byrne TH. Temporary Financial Assistance Decreased Health Care Costs For Veterans Experiencing Housing Instability. Health affairs (Project Hope). 2021 May 1; 40(5):820-828.
Compared with housed people, those experiencing homelessness have longer and more expensive inpatient stays as well as more frequent emergency department visits. Efforts to provide stable housing situations for people experiencing homelessness could reduce health care costs. Through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, the Department of Veterans Affairs partners with community organizations to provide temporary financial assistance to veterans who are currently homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. We examined the impact of temporary financial assistance on health care costs for veterans in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and found that, on average, people receiving the assistance incurred $352 lower health care costs per quarter than those who did not receive the assistance. These results can inform national policy debates regarding the proper solution to housing instability.