Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Net Benefits of Hospital-Sponsored Health Care for the Homeless: Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Demonstration Project

Homeless and transitionally housed persons face substantial barriers to obtaining medical care. Consequently, many of their medical needs remain unmet and the care they do receive is often through emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations resulting in substantial uncompensated hospital expenses. Using a propensity-score matched comparison group, we assess how Helping Educate and Link the Homeless (HEALTH), a hospital-based outreach program, affected the overall utilization of hospital services by participants over a two-year period. Our findings suggest that HEALTH offers net savings to the hospital and even larger net benefits to society when quality-of-life benefits for participants are imputed.

Additional Info

  • Volume or issue no.: La Follette School Working Paper No. 2014-010
  • Author(s): Bethany Ackeret, David L. Weimer, Erik A. Ranheim, Lisa Urban, Elizabeth Jacobs