November 10, 2021
10,000+ people experiencing homelessness are served annually through Central Health’s Medical Access Program (MAP)
(Austin) – Central Health is increasing funding to support health care for people experiencing homelessness by $1.7 million for the new 2022 fiscal year (FY) that began October 1. This increase will support medical respite, intensive case management and mobile/street medicine teams.
Central Health’s Medical Access Program (MAP) annually serves more than 10,000 individuals experiencing homelessness. The increased funding will provide additional services for homeless patients with limited transportation and communication, lack of social support, higher prevalence of severe chronic illness, and addiction.
“If you don’t have a place to live, statistics show you have worse health outcomes, are at higher risk for chronic conditions, are more likely to use emergency care and have more difficulty getting care when needed,” Central Health President & CEO Mike Geeslin said. “People experiencing homelessness often have trouble accessing care and frequently use emergency department resources – issues that were exacerbated by the pandemic. Thanks for our Board of Managers and Travis County Commissioners, Central Health is investing funding to support an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to improve the health or people experiencing homelessness.”
Central Health’s planned investments for Fiscal Year 2022 include, in addition to the homeless services expansion:
- Increasing access to medical respite – short-term residential care that allows people experiencing homelessness to rest and recover in a safe environmental while accessing necessary medical care
- Funding additional street medicine and mobile units to meet homeless patients where they live
- Expanding case management and community health workers to address social determinants of health and create links to resources
- Expanding clinical capacity to provide routine outpatient dialysis and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations
- Improving care for diabetic patients by introducing wound care and podiatry to the primary care setting
- Investing in improved infectious disease, psychiatry and behavioral health services at CommUnityCare Health Center’s primary care clinics
- Alcohol use peer support
The Travis County Commissioners Court on Sept. 21, voted unanimously to approve Central Health’s FY2022 budget and tax rate to pay for health care services for Travis County residents with low income. Of the entire $506 million budget, more than 97%, or$491 million, is dedicated to health care delivery.
Visit the Central Health website at www.centralhealth.net for more information on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget priorities.