Chicago Housing Initiative receives support from Medical Home Network Accountable Care Organization


CHICAGO, October 5, 2021 / PRNewswire / – People without stable housing often turn to hospital emergency departments when they feel they have nowhere to go for medical care. This is one of the reasons the Medical Home Network Accountable Care Organization (MHN ACO) is investing in a “Housing First” program to care for patients without stable housing who are at high risk of health problems.

Medical Home Network Responsible healthcare organization

It is difficult to improve the health of patients when their most basic need – housing – is not met.

The program is funded by the MHN ACO, an entity wholly owned by the provider and made up of 13 federally approved health centers and three hospital systems. Through its partnership with CountyCare, a Medicaid plan for Cook County residents – ACO MHN reinvests a portion of the shared savings it earns back into the community through initiatives such as the Flexible Housing Program. CountyCare is also investing its own dollars in the housing program.

“The MHN ACO reinvests our savings to provide essential services – or services not covered by insurance but vital to health,” said Cheryl Lulias, President and CEO of MHN. “We are proud to invest in stable housing because it is an important determinant of health.

The 3-year pilot program launched in September provides rental subsidies to help a number of from Cook County the population of the safety net settles in apartments. Community Care Coordinators connect patients to primary and specialty care, employment assistance, and social services. Individual follow-up will keep residents committed to their care plans.

“It is difficult to improve the health of patients when their most basic need – housing – has not been met,” said Leana lopez, director of behavioral and community health programs at MHN. “When patients have a consistent shelter, washing facilities, medicine storage and a care team dedicated to their well-being, physical and mental healing can begin.”

Housing intervention stops spiraling health care costs

The Flexible Housing Pool program was developed by the Center for Housing and Health in collaboration with Cook County Health, the City of Chicago and support from foundations and health and social service providers.

After treatment, patients usually only return to the streets to return to the emergency department when their condition worsens. A local pilot study at University of Illinois at Chicago found that 48 percent of people who frequently used the emergency department for care were homeless. UIC also found that a hospital admission costs about five times more than 30 days of supportive housing. To help reduce costs and support the person’s comprehensive care, the program has medical, emotional, and financial benefits.

“One of our most complex patients at Lawndale recently received accommodation last year under a similar program, ”said Adam claus, manager of complex care at Lawndale Christian Health Center; one of the member organizations of MHN ACO. “The year before he had 20 psychiatric admissions and struggled with stability as he had nowhere to feel safe. Since receiving housing he has had no admissions.”

The pilot period will gather more evidence to link stable housing and stable health conditions. “Claims data will show whether heart failure or hypertension is managed, A1c levels for diabetes are under control, and patients engage in behavioral health services, once people have received stable housing, ”Lopez said.

About Medical Home Network Responsible Care Organization
Medical Home Network Accountable Care Organization (MHN ACO) is a provider-owned and led approach to patient-centered health care and population health management for Medicaid patients. Our members include 13 federally licensed health centers, three hospital systems and their physician offices. Within our ACO, we strive to create a different kind of culture – one that includes shared decision-making and focuses on change, innovation, collaboration and improved delivery for all of our members. / owners. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Medical Home Network Responsible healthcare organization

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