HONOLULU – As an emergency doctor, Hawaii Senator Josh Green sees homeless people suffering from diabetes, psychological problems and many health problems that are difficult to manage when they are permanent homeless residents or not.
That is why Green said the homeless are classified according to Hawaii state law as the will of the disease.
If homelessness is an illness, he argues, doctors will be able to write recipes for healing: Housing.
“There is a paradigm shift for sure, but the best we can do today is for doctors and healthcare professionals to write prescriptions for life,” Green said.
Green last week in Hawaii legislator to rate the disease chronic residence accounts and require insurance companies to cover treatment for the disease.
But if a doctor writes a six-month prescription for housing that meets the patient’s prescription?
This is where Green wants to get Medicaid.
He wants to allocate part of the annual Medicaid budget of $ 2 billion to pay for housing in Hawaii.
He said the government may spend less money to have part of the Medicaid often paid a visit to the residence and residential center instead of primary care. A recent University of Hawaii study shows the cost of health care for the chronically homeless has declined by 43 percent because they have a good apartment for six consecutive months.
“The body is healthy because it is capable of a much better chance of maintaining its health,” said Connie Mitchell, director of the Institute of Human Services, the largest homeless service provider in Hawaii.
But he warned that the selection qualified to be a challenge.
“You really need to see when you need it because a lot of people are homeless,” Mitchell said. “Just because he’s not homeless, which gives him the right to write a recipe for unity.”
Hawaii has the largest address of all states in the United States in 2015, 53 homeless people for every 10,000 people, according to the National Alliance End Homelessness.
Food expenses and superior housing in the remote state has called for thousands of people who were born in the country and move to set up tents and temporary structures in the gardens houses and driveways on Oahu, the most populous state island.
Concerned about the impact on tourism, city officials banned sitting and lying in public places near the beach in Waikiki and other parts of Honolulu.
Green backup application opportunities is not clear, but employees receive Hawaii seem strange solution. State officials last year to direct more money than ever to support homeless services.
And this week, 20 of state senator plans to issue $ 2 billion in state bonds to build affordable housing, housing renovation and shelters.
Representatives of the country’s two largest insurer – Kaiser Permanente and the Hawaii Medical Service Association – and chair of the legislative committee, considering the bill, for the first time declined to comment and said they do not have time to verify it.
National Homeless experts said they did not know any attempt to classify a homeless disease.
But more than a dozen states – such as California, Louisiana, New York and Texas – an alternative way of using Medicaid money to social services to help people stay in housing, employment or services such as counseling, According to the Society to support housing, the group based in New York.
And New York is looking for a way to double some of the Medicaid budget so housing costs are funded by the state.
“So far, no one can afford to pay rent through Medicaid. It’s a line in the sand,” said Barbara DiPietro, senior director of National Health Care policy for the Homeless Council, referring to federal Medicaid money.
Green idea is for the pressure line in Hawaii to expand Medicaid coverage so that it pays for services such as social workers who help people secure housing.
“The government understands that there is a strong cross between housing and health, and I believe there is indeed an integral part of our efforts to deal with the homeless here in the country,” said Scott Morishige, coordinator of Governor residence David Ige , A Democrat.