States that invest additional money addressing the social service needs of their highest-cost Medicaid patients are finding that the savings they gain from doing so exceed the cost of providing the social services.

Often, by as much as two dollars of savings for every one dollar spent.

With relatively small numbers of Medicaid patients consuming a significant portion of state Medicaid resources, providing additional social service assistance to such individuals can both improve their health and save money for the states according to a new report from the National Governors Association.  Most of these patients suffer from multiple medical problems, including substance abuse disorders and mental illness.  Providing housing assistance, in particular, has proven to be one of the biggest money-saving services.  The additional assistance also has drastically reduced emergency room visits and costs.

These findings are drawn from the results achieved by ten states and Puerto Rico that are participating in a national pilot program.

Learn more about what the state’s are doing and the results they are producing in the National Governors Association report “Building Complex Care Programs:  A Road Map for States,” which can be found here.