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May 25, 2016

Integrating health care and housing to promote healthy aging.

Region: Americas Blog Reorienting the model of care, Coordinating services within and across sectors Source: Health Affairs Blog

In recent decades, the influence between health status and social conditions has been broadly studied; one of the conditions that has been strongly linked to health status has been housing.

Population ageing and the increase of chronic conditions are two of the drivers that have made that housing conditions become an important factor influencing health.

Many different proposals have been made regarding home care, most of them trying to take hospital care to patient’s home; in this post, some different aspects are discussed, mainly related to what Medicare could do in order to improve housing conditions and its influence in patient’s health: (I) increasing the emphasis on vulnerable population covered by Medicare’s Publicly Assisted Housing Programme, (II) tackling elderly falls as a main health problem and striving to reach the Health People 2020 goal of a 10 percent reduction in the rate of emergency-department visits due to falls among older adults, (III) identifying additional health risk factors that may exist in the home through health risk assessments (HRA).

The authors also give some examples of how home conditions’ improvement could be funded and they explain other experiences of how housing conditions could be used to improve health status and decrease health-related costs.