Homeless Medical Respite

UCS Homeless Medical Respite (external link)
In the fall of 2014, the United Caring Shelter and Deaconess joined together to create the Homeless Medical Respite Program (HMRP). The two organizations agreed to create a small respite area inside the UCS Emergency Night Shelter and spend the next year assessing the need for such a service in Evansville. Five months in to the project, the six-bed respite was already experiencing growing pains and success.

Between November 2014 and March 2015, the HMRP had 10 guests. These men came to the respite for a variety of health conditions. Several men had a broken bone or other orthopaedic injury. A couple of men were recovering from cancer treatment, while one man needed to recuperate following open heart surgery.

During their combined 356 nights in the respite, the staff was able to help the men access services and assistance many did not know existed. Veterans were reconnected to the V.A. and began receiving benefits. Those struggling with addiction went to meetings and found paths to help them move toward recovery.

Our first two patients in the respite have mended from their wounds and moved on. Anthony lives in transitional housing and stops by the respite to talk with and encourage new guests. Barry received housing assistance from the V.A. and currently has his own apartment and a job at Patchwork Central.

Upon discharge from the respite, 5 of the 10 men had some form of stable housing. That equals five lives that were turned around and pointed in a better direction; five men who regained their self-worth and have an improved outlook on the future.
If these are the results after just five months, who knows how many lives can be changed in this pilot year, alone. Stay tuned….

Homeless Medical Respite Program – Pilot Program 2014-2015
Project – Create a 6-bed medical respite within the United Caring Shelter
Purpose – reduce readmission rates for the homeless and near-homeless population by providing a safe place to rest and recover following an inpatient stay at Deaconess Hospital.
Initial investment – $67,208

Deaconess Results
• Total number of men referred to the HMRP = 42
• Total number of men admitted to HMRP = 21
• Total number of men readmitted to Deaconess within 30 days of D/C = 7
• Total saved/avoidable patient days for these 21 men = 692 days
• Assuming a savings of $1,200 per patient day for room and board only,
692 patient days x $1,200 = $830,400 saved
Homeless Medical Respite Program Results – Pilot Year 2014-15

Project – Create a 6-bed medical respite within the United Caring Shelter
Purpose – reduce readmission rates for the homeless and near-homeless population by providing a safe place to rest and recover following an inpatient stay at a healthcare facility and connect them to appropriate community services.
The HMRP had a total of 29 guests admitted to the respite from October 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015. Deaconess/Deaconess Gateway referred 21 men. The additional 8 men were referred to the respite from St. Mary’s Health or the ECHO Outreach Team.

The 29 men spent a collective total of 898 nights in the respite.
Following discharge from the respite,
• 8 men went to their own apartment
• 9 men went to a homeless shelter (Either UCS or Rescue Mission)
• 2 men went to nursing homes
• 1 man went to an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility
• 1 man went to a group home via Southwestern Behavioral Health
• 8 men planned to stay with friends/family

The average age of our guests was 50 years old.
11 of the 29 guests were veterans (38%).
Healthcare Perspective (data is only for the 21 men discharged from Deaconess)
• Total saved/avoidable patient days for 21 men = 692 days
• Assuming a savings of $1,200 per patient day for room and board only,
692 patient days x $1,200 = $830,400 saved
• The actual figure is significantly higher. The $1,200 does not include any medicine, x-rays, CT scans, lab work, orthopedic equipment, surgery, etc. for these men.
• The collective number of hospital admissions in the 12 months prior to HMRP admission for these men was 152. The number of hospital admissions after leaving the HMRP (time period ending July 31, 2015) was 72 – a reduction of over 50%.
• Only 7 men were readmitted within 30 days of transfer to the HMRP. That’s a very low number for patients with lots of social issues and difficulty complying with physician orders.
Future Plans for HMRP
• Acquire and renovate the Zion Church of Christ Parsonage
• Relocate the HMRP to the parsonage
• Allow men and women to be admitted to the HMRP
• Expand program to 16 beds (currently 6 beds)

Next Steps
Core Contractors from Evansville, IN, will serve as the contractor for renovation of the parsonage.
Preliminary estimate of the project = $315,000.
An official bid price can be given after receipt of official engineered drawings.

UCS plans to identify some lead donors for this project as well as ask local union organizations for donated labor.

Annual operations for an expanded HMRP are estimated to be $170,000. Deaconess has committed to a lead donation of $75,000 to be used on operations not construction/renovation.

HMRP pilot year report (pdf)