• Nationally, hospitals will keep a homeless patient up to 8 days longer than their housed counterparts incurring millions of dollars in additional costs.
  • A recent National Health Care for the Homeless study found that 75 percent of homeless patients return to the Emergency Department within two weeks of being discharged from the hospital if a respite care facility is not available.
  • Homeless adults die at a rate four to five times greater than would be expected in the general population. They die from the same causes we do, like heart disease and cancer – but they die 20 to 30 years earlier.
  • A 2013 Robert Wood Johnson study found the hospital readmission rate for homeless individuals were 50% after 30 days; more specifically 52% within one week and 75% within two weeks without a safe place to convalesce.
  • Patients without homes visited the emergency department 6 times per year compared to 1.6 times for those who had stable housing.
  • A national study found patients experiencing homelessness averaged 6 emergency department visits per year compared with 1.6 visits for those with stable housing.
  • Medical respite intervention for the homeless prevents new health conditions from developing, existing conditions from worsening and can lead to sustained supportive housing.
  • Hospitals across the country incur substantial losses on caring for homeless patients. In study after study, medical respite reduces these losses by reducing length of stay, subsequent emergency department visits and subsequent inpatient admissions.
  • Healthcare combined with housing is the key intervention that will break the cycle of chronic homelessness and accessing the hospital.
  • There are about 80 programs similar in scope across the country, most funded by hospitals or private donors –an insufficient number to meet the current demand.