Health homes: effective care, lower cost

Last year, Health Homes in New York State faced significant state budget cuts that threatened their financial future and sustainability. The Senate proposed to cut $100 million ($200M with the Federal match) in funding from Health Homes which would have devastated the program. The proposed cut could have translated to 52,000 children and adults with chronic health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, serious mental health needs, and serious substance use issues, including those dealing with heroin and opioid misuse, losing crucial care management services. Cuts to this critical program would reduce access to care management for individuals and inhibit Health Homes’ ability to continue improving health outcomes, engagement in primary care and outpatient services, and reducing avoidable and costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

An integral part of NY healthcare

Health Home Care Management has become an integral part of evolving healthcare systems in New York State. Health Homes support healthcare systems across NYS including major hospitals, PPSs, FQHCs, and behavioral health provider networks. In an effort to improve health outcomes, enhance the quality of care, and reduce costs, as part of the triple aim, Health Homes work to coordinate and communicate with an individual’s various caregivers and providers to address medical, behavioral, and social needs.

Since Health Home implementation in New York State in 2012, there have been many successes. Health Homes are valuable not only to the members they serve, but also in reducing long-term cost burdens to the state and federal government. There are currently 175,000 members enrolled in the Health Home program statewide, being served by approximately 4,500 community-based care managers. Health Homes Serving Children (HHSC) opened in December 2016, and Health Homes now serve members of all ages. The outcomes to date include but are not limited to:

  • Inpatient costs per member per month are down 8%, according to the NYS Department of Health, and emergency room utilization is down 6 percent.
  • 17% decrease in preventable hospital readmissions between 2014 and 2015, according to the NYS Department of Health,