MRT Supportive Housing Evaluation


May 31, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the SUNY Research Foundation´s first evaluation reports of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing initiative. These are the first installment in a comprehensive three–year study.

The Medicaid Redesign Team created numerous supportive housing programs to provide vulnerable high–cost Medicaid members with rental subsidies, new capital construction and pilot projects to test new models of care. These programs began operations in 2012 and have served over 11,000 high acuity Medicaid members. On average, individuals served in the program have a multitude of comorbidities, including mental health and substance use disorders, HIV/AIDS, and one or more chronic conditions. Early indications of the program have demonstrated that investments in social determinants, such as housing, can have a profound impact on health care costs.

Key findings from the first utilization and cost reports include:

  • 40% reduction in inpatient days
  • 26% reduction in emergency department visits
  • 44% reduction in patients with inpatient substance use rehab admissions
  • 27% reduction in patients with inpatient psychiatric admissions
  • Through strategic prioritization, the top decile of enrollees had average Medicaid savings of $23,000–$52,000 per person per year (varied by program)
  • 15% reduction in overall Medicaid health expenditures

I hope you enjoy the first reports of the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) Supportive Housing initiative. Not included in the study, but equally important, are state and local savings from reduced use of homeless shelters and the criminal justice system and the unmeasured impact on participants´ overall health and quality of life when they have a home. Some of these factors will be explored in future reports. We are excited to share new evidence that housing is a form of healthcare.


Jason A. Helgerson Medicaid Director
Office of Health Insurance Program