By Mary Caffrey
The shift to value-based reimbursement has forced health systems to pay more attention to social determinants of health, and studies show that one stands out: Housing, both the quality and the location, is one of the best-researched indicators of overall health. Health systems are even designing interventions to improve housing for patients who consume more than their share of health resources.
A blog post today on Health Affairs by Shelley Hearne, DrPH; Brian Castrucci, MA; and Loel Solomon, PhD, examines the role of local housing policy in shaping access to affordable housing. It follows the journal’s recent policy brief on housing and health.
Evidence points to the difference that housing quality and location make, if these can be addressed. Removing conditions like mold and infestation improves respiratory health, and housing instability is connected to mental health problems, addiction, and inability to stick with treatment regimens for chronic conditions such as diabetes.