A study by LeadingAge and The Lewin Group, Affordable Senior Housing Plus Services: What’s the Value?, finds that on-site health services in HUD-assisted senior housing developments increase hospital admissions and costs for Medicare and Medicaid as seniors who receive on-site services are more likely to seek treatment for identified health problems. Health education increased the likelihood of a resident visiting a hospital Emergency Department (ED). Mental health services increased the likelihood of a resident being admitted at least once to acute inpatient care during the year. These findings suggest that on-site services help residents identify health issues that need attention and lead to more appropriate levels of medical care.
The study observed several healthcare outcomes for individual residents of HUD-assisted senior housing properties and compared outcomes for residents in properties with on-site health services with those for residents in properties without such services in 12 geographic areas. The outcomes included the odds of an Emergency Department visit without admission, the odds of Medicare acute inpatient admission, and levels of Medicare and Medicaid payments.
The presence of health education services increased the odds that an individual would visit an ED by 31% and the number of visits the individual made per month by 21%. The authors attribute these findings to residents learning to identify symptoms that need immediate attention. Health education services on average lowered Medicare Part D payments by 8% (Part D pays some of the costs for prescription drugs), but increased other Medicare payments by 15%. Education services may include medication reviews that help residents eliminate unnecessary medications and encourage more consultations with medical professionals. Medicare payments, excluding Part D, may increase as residents become more aware of health-related issues that need to be addressed, such as high blood pressure.
On-site mental health services can result in higher, but more appropriate, hospitalization rates. These services on average increased the odds that an individual would be admitted as a Medicare acute inpatient by 42% and the number of Medicare acute inpatient admissions per month by 17%.
On-site service coordinators reduced the odds of a person being admitted as a Medicare acute inpatient by 18% but increased Medicaid payments by 14%. On-site coordinators help residents identify and enroll in Medicaid-funded programs, resulting in higher payments.
Affordable Senior Housing Plus Services: What’s the Value? is available at http://bit.ly/1QqMvpo.