Breaking: CMS May Allow Hospitals to Pay for Housing Through Medicaid

CMS May Allow Hospitals to Pay for Housing Through Medicaid
By Paul Barr  | Modern Healthcare November 14, 2018

HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Wednesday said Medicaid may soon allow hospitals and health systems to directly pay for housing, healthy food or other solutions for the "whole person."

In a speech to the Hatch Foundation for Civility and Solutions in Washington, Azar said Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation officials are looking to move beyond existing efforts to partner with social services groups and try to manage social determinants of health as they see appropriate.

"What if we gave organizations more flexibility so they could pay a beneficiary's rent if they were in unstable housing, or make sure that a diabetic had access to, and could afford, nutritious food?" Azar said in his prepared remarks. "If that sounds like an exciting idea ... I want you to stay tuned to what CMMI is up to."

The CMS has approved experiments in providing this care for Medicaid beneficiaries in California, Illinois, Minnesota and New York. 

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