Medicaid is now paying providers for “street medicine”: care provided to the homeless and delivered on the street as opposed to in traditional medical settings such as clinics, offices, and hospitals.
For years, programs throughout the country have focused on enrolling the homeless in Medicaid and, whether they are insured by Medicaid or not, providing care to such individuals right on the street. Traditionally, however, such care has almost always been rejected for payment by Medicaid.
Beginning in October, however, Medicaid began reimbursing providers for such care.
The homeless, providers have long maintained, are in dire need of care to address both physical and mental health problems, but being reimbursed for such care has long proven to be an obstacle to meeting their needs. The new Medicaid policy that recognizes street medicine and pays providers for delivering it is expected to help meet the needs of an underserved population.
It also has led to a new effort to recognize the additional costs inherent in delivering care in this manner and advocacy for improving Medicaid payment for these services.
Learn more about Medicaid’s new recognition of street medicine, programs around the country that have already been meeting this need, often without reimbursement, for years, and where street medicine may go next from the KFF Health News article “Street Medicine Practitioners Are Getting Paid. Now They Want Higher Rates.”