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Intersection of Housing and Healthcare

Thursday, April 23, 2020/Categories: Community Development Division, Montana Housing

In April 2019, the State of Montana was selected to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Accelerator Program (IAP) Partnerships Implementation Track. The IAP, continuing through May 2020, is a technical assistance opportunity aiming to build capacity and enhance collaboration between a state’s Medicaid system and its housing agencies.

Consultants from Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), Inc. are supporting to our IAP Core Team, which includes representatives from Department of Commerce (Montana Housing and Community Development Divisions), Department of Public Health and Human Services, Continuum of Care and the Montana Health Care Foundation.

The IAP Core Team’s central goals include: 

  1. Identifying viable options in Medicaid to add and/or strengthen pre-tenancy and tenancy-sustaining services as a Medicaid benefit for specified population(s)
  2. Identifying and securing housing resources for individuals receiving pre-tenancy and tenancy-sustaining Medicaid benefits

For the duration of this technical assistance opportunity, we have formed three workgroups to further our efforts:

Services Work Group: 

  • Determine what should be included in a Medicaid Services Package and the Medicaid Authority to pay for it. Consider what on-going staffing capacity is needed to implement a Services Package and coordinate services with housing.

Target Population/Data Work Group: 

  • Determine target population(s) eligible for a Medicaid housing-related services and activities benefit. Group will review of existing data to identify needs and cost benefits. Possible populations identified: 1) Homeless, 2) Existing Institutions, 3) Unstably Housed, and 4) Frequent/High Cost Utilizers

Housing Work Group: 

  • Map existing housing program resources, including capital and operating/rental assistance fund sources for affordable housing. Identify and pursue housing opportunities that can be connected to those receiving a Medicaid benefit. Review policies across different resources to assess where targeting could occur for identified populations:  1) Homeless, 2) Existing Institutions, 3) Unstably Housed, 4) Frequent/High Cost Utilizers.

These work groups are comprised of housing and healthcare subject matter experts through the state, including a wide mix of state and local government representatives as well as private sector employees (nonprofits, universities, developers, health sector etc.). These work groups will compile results of their work in May 2020, for further review and consideration by the IAP Core Team and, ultimately, state leadership.  

Planning is underway for a one-day virtual Montana Housing Partnership conference, to be held on June 16, 2020. The virtual event will include a session on the intersection of housing and healthcare.


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