A Year of Care and Collaboration Reveals Our Aptitude for Advancement
March marked the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus-induced shutdowns. I echo the administration’s sentiment that we must reflect on our nation’s sacrifices and look ahead toward a post-pandemic world. The lessons we learned should influence the development of public policies that extend post-pandemic.
The pandemic exacerbated the inordinate need for home-and-community-based services and supportive housing. Although we are seeing many measures passed by federal and state governments to address the medical and economic fallout from the COVID-19, a national policy must be supported by an organized, local public health and human services response that encourages formalized public-private partnerships. Only through robust collaboration among policymakers, providers and payers, and real estate developers may we develop policies and care models that address physical and behavioral health needs in one setting.
To date, many states are addressing their critical need for supportive housing. They are planning for the increased federal funding, which expands Medicaid beneficiaries' access to home- and community-based care. For example, a public-private partnership in San Francisco, California, between Tipping Point Community, a Bay Area philanthropic organization, and the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund is already underway to develop 145 permanent supportive housing units.
The pandemic shined a spotlight on the health care system’s important role in connecting patients to housing, as well as the need for substantial additional resources to make a meaningful dent in the number of households that struggle to find affordable supportive housing.