WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, AmeriHealth Caritas, a national Medicaid managed care organization, and the parent company of the District’s largest Medicaid health plan AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, announced a $150,000 investment in local organizations and programs addressing housing insecurity and homelessness.
Safe, stable quality housing is a key determinant of physical and behavioral health. Homelessness and housing insecurity are known to compound existing health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues while creating new ones like tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, malnutrition, injuries, and exposure to violence. Homelessness also drives up overall health care costs because those experiencing it often lack access to preventive and acute care, and the requisite medications to treat chronic conditions. As a result, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that homeless individuals are five times more likely than non-homeless to be admitted to inpatient hospital units, and that they stay for up to four days longer than those who are not displaced at a cost of $2000 to $4000 per day.
“Few things are more fundamental to our ability to lead healthy and productive lives than having a sound roof over our heads,” said AmeriHealth Caritas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Tufano. “AmeriHealth Caritas is proud to invest in these community-based organizations that are saving and changing the lives of our members who are facing some of the greatest health and mortality risks in the District.”
This investment represents the second phase of AmeriHealth Caritas’ multi-year plan to invest $250,000 in District-based organizations on the front-line of homelessness. For this phase, AmeriHealth Caritas selected six District-based organizations that are committed to ending homelessness and consistently demonstrate significant results and outcomes in these critical areas. In December of 2016 during the first phase of the investment, AmeriHealth Caritas awarded $25,000 to each of four District-based organizations: Community of Hope, So Others Might Eat (SOME), Pathways to Housing DC, and Woodley House. Throughout 2017, each of these organizations demonstrated effective use of their awards through the expansion of their programs and the increase in the number of clients served.
These four organizations were chosen again in 2018 for their strong performance in offering an effective mix of homelessness prevention as well as crisis and transitional housing services, along with a spectrum of programs to address substance use disorders, education, and employment. In addition, District-based Christ House and N Street Village were chosen for their effectiveness at addressing housing insecurity and their additional capabilities to provide limited medical and nursing support to homeless individuals who have been recently discharged from a hospital.
“Community of Hope is so grateful to AmeriHealth Caritas for their leadership in recognizing that stable housing is a core foundation to long-term, positive health outcomes. As a community health center and a leader in providing housing for families experiencing homelessness, we know firsthand the importance of housing in keeping people healthy,” said Kelly Sweeney McShane, CEO of Community of Hope in Washington, D.C.
Homelessness is a major issue in the District of Columbia. In its December 2016 report, “Hunger and Homelessness,” the U.S. Conference of Mayors reported that the District had the highest homeless rate among the nation’s 38 largest cities, with a 34 percent increase in overall homelessness between 2009 and 2016.
“Tackling an issue of such urgency requires putting both the financial and human capital in place to create lasting change,” said Karen Dale, market president of AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia. “We cannot solve homelessness and housing insecurity overnight, but we can pledge to continue investing in and collaborating with like-minded organizations making a daily, tangible difference.”
About AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia
AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia, a member of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, is a Medicaid managed care health plan that serves Medicaid recipients living throughout the District of Columbia. Headquartered in the District, AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping members get care, stay well, and build healthy communities. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritasdc.com.
About AmeriHealth Caritas
AmeriHealth Caritas is part of the Independence Health Group in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation’s leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. Operating in 17 states and the District of Columbia, AmeriHealth Caritas serves approximately 5.6 million Medicaid, Medicare and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy services, behavioral health services, and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven organization with more than 35 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritas.com.