A substantial amount of health care research shows that at least 80 percent of what affects outcomes happens beyond the scope of clinical care — including social, behavioral and environment factors such as housing. The most important aspect of Recuperative Care is that the patient is with a service who understands their needs and can connect them to permanent housing, in most cases saving their lives.
Dignity Health’s participation in supporting Recuperative Care Programs works to help address the issue of homelessness in this equation by providing short-term medical care and case management to homeless individuals recovering from acute illness or injury, with the help of our Recuperative Care providers:
- Harbor Care (formerly Hope of the Valley) – Mission Hills, Calif.
- Illumination Foundation – Irvine, Calif.
- Pathways Recuperative Care – Los Angeles, Calif.
Housing Is Health Care
Dignity Health recognizes the complexity of both the mental and physical health of our homeless patients and has invested $1.2 million in recuperative care services. From 2010 to May 2017, Dignity Health hospitals in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire utilized 6,129 bed days.
Recuperative care reduces the cost to hospitals by providing a safe discharge. While the inpatient acute cost of a typical Medi-Cal hospital stay is $1,800 per day, at a recuperative care provider, it’s $217 per day. From June to December 2017, this translated into approximately $5.9 million in hospital savings and $20.4 million in savings for CY 2017.
Addressing High Utilizers and Chronic Care Needs
Managing patients who struggle with many social determinants of health, especially housing, is challenging for the Care Coordination staff. In 2018, Dignity Health partnered with the Illumination Foundation to implement the Chronic Care Plus Program. This program accepts patients from all the Dignity Health Southern California hospitals who are homeless, have several comorbidities and are high utilizers of emergency services. They provide immediate housing upon discharge for these patients and manage them for up to two years until they can get permanent housing and support services.
Readmission Rate Drops
Using admissions data from our recuperative care partners, each patient is reviewed to determine if they have been readmitted to any of the six Dignity Health hospitals in Southern California. In 2016, 5 percent were readmitted, and in 2017 readmissions were down to just 1 percent.
Humankindness lives here.
Home at Last
Sherolyn Scott, 60, had been living on the streets of Los Angeles for two years when she was treated at California Hospital for injuries she received as the result of an incidence of domestic violence.
“I was rushed to California Hospital where they saved me because I could’ve almost died,” she says. The hospital worked with their partner, Pathways Recuperative Care, to locate a place for Scott to rest and recover and to work to find permanent housing.
“They found me a place,” Scott says. “California Hospital sent me to Pathway Recuperative Care and my miracle really started there.”
She says she received support and counseling and was able to secure permanent housing.
“I’m so grateful for a hospital that cared enough . . . This is a miracle. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’m in my house like a normal person.”