Federal Government to reimburse street care
October 21, 2023
Health care is generally provided in clinics or hospitals. However, not everyone can make it to those settings. KFF Health News reported on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changing policy to reimburse healthcare providers who provide care on the street ("non-permanent location on the street or found environment"). Although some states and localities have previously provided reimbursement for this type of care, this change in policy is reported to be the first time that the federal government has done so. The article notes that many providers were previously providing the care on a volunteer basis.
The hope is that "by dramatically expanding primary and specialty care on the streets, they can interrupt the cycle of homelessness and reduce costly ambulance rides, hospitalizations, and repeated trips to the emergency room." Even if no additional providers wish to provide care on the streets, this flexibility seems to be a better policy.