Oct 3, 2019

Hospitals are getting into the housing business

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Hospitals have discovered that it's not only better for patients' health if they have somewhere to live, but it's also often cheaper for the hospital to provide housing than a long inpatient stay, USA Today reports with Kaiser Health News.

The big picture: Hospitals across the country are looking at ways to address homelessness, including building their own housing units.

  • Recent policy changes have encouraged hospitals to use charity funding for housing.
  • While current law bars hospitals from directly paying Medicaid enrollees' rent, the Trump administration is considering changing that, as Modern Healthcare has reported.

Details: Hospitals legally can't discharge patients if they have no safe place to go, which leads to patients staying in the hospital long after they've stopped needing care.

  • That means the patient is occupying a hospital bed — while generating no income for the hospital — that could be used for other patients.
  • For many hospitals, it's cheaper to provide a month of housing than to keep a patient for one night.

The bottom line: Investing in social determinants of health — like housing, nutrition and transportation — will undoubtedly save society money. It's more likely to happen if it also is profitable for the health care industry.

Go deeper: Why Kaiser Permanente is investing in housing

Go deeper

Al Sharpton says Floyd family will lead march on Washington in August

The family of George Floyd is teaming up with Rev. Al Sharpton to hold a march on Washington on Aug. 28 — the 57th anniversary of the civil rights movement's March on Washington — to call for a federal policing equality act, Sharpton announced during a eulogy at Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis Thursday.

Why it matters: The news comes amid growing momentum for calls to address systemic racism in policing and other facets of society, after more than a week of protests and social unrest following the killing of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

1 hour ago - Health

Medical journal retracts study that fueled hydroxychloroquine concerns

Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

The Lancet medical journal retracted a study on Thursday that found that coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a higher mortality rate and increased heart problem than those who did nothing, stating that the authors were "unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis."

Why it matters: The results of the study, which claimed to have analyzed data from nearly 96,000 patients on six continents, led several governments to ban the use of the anti-malarial drug for coronavirus patients due to safety concerns.

George Floyd updates

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: A judge Thursday set bail at $750,000 for each of three ex-officers, AP reports.