Homelessness: Orange County Health Plan Approves $10 Million for Homeless Recuperative Beds
Alleviates Burden on Emergency Rooms, Speeds up Recovery for Homeless Patients
Orange, California (August 2, 2018) – Orange County will soon get a much-needed boost in the number of recuperative medical beds for the homeless.
Under a plan, authored by Supervisor Andrew Do, Orange County’s health plan for low-income residents will dedicate $10 million towards additional recuperative care beds that help sick or injured homeless patients recover.
“You can’t recover from surgery if you’re living on the street,” said Supervisor Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “Homeless patients are seven times more likely to use the emergency room and nine times more likely to be hospitalized than other members of Medi-Cal.”
“This plan addresses the revolving door of homeless patients in and out of Orange County emergency rooms and prevents taxpayers from incurring further medical costs,” added Supervisor Do.
The recuperative care beds, funded by a one-time $10 million transfer, will be available to homeless CalOptima members who are discharged from hospitals, skilled nursing facilities as well as those referred directly by health care clinics and public health nurses.
Recuperative Care Reduces Burden on Taxpayers
Recuperative care beds offer a middle ground between an expensive hospital bed and unsafe return to life on the streets. While in recovery, homeless individuals are linked to other crucial services that aid in transitioning people out of homelessness, including permanent supportive housing.
“Homeless health continues to be a priority for us at CalOptima and awarding this grant supports quality care and helps prevent rehospitalization,” said Michael Schrader, CalOptima Chief Executive Officer.
Orange County Health Care Agency currently uses three providers to provide recuperative care beds and link homeless patients to other services; Mom’s Retreat, Destiny La Palma Royale and Illumination Foundation. The county’s program served 445 homeless individuals last year. That number is expected to nearly double over the next three years.
“Orange County continues to clean up our streets and help those who want to improve their lives,” said Supervisor Do.