NYC’s Medical Respite initiative serves 1100+ patients with short-term housing, medical care

NYC Health + Hospitals on February 20, 2024, announced that more than 1,100 patients participated in the medical respite program, which offers patients experiencing homelessness a place to stay for up to 90 days while accessing expanded medical services that are not available in shelter, as part of its Housing for Health initiative. Seventy-five percent completed their medical respite stay, and nearly 300 patients were discharged from respite into more stable housing, including supportive, affordable and market housing, reuniting with their families, and assisted living placement. The majority of the remaining patients were connected to Department of Homeless Services’ shelters and safe havens, while some returned to the hospital or other interim living arrangements. NYC Health + Hospitals’ medical respite provides short-term housing and access to medical care including wound care, oxygen, IV infusion, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. In addition, patients receive medically tailored meals, coordination of and transportation to medical appointments, and intensive housing case management. Studies show that patients discharged from the hospital to respite have better health outcomes compared to those discharged to shelter directly. Furthermore, by offering a place to recuperate with access to medical services, respite beds shorten patients’ length of stay at the hospital, free up beds for patients who have more intense needs and offers a more appropriate setting for the patient to recover in the community.

“Housing for Health’s medical respite program offers a safe, stable place for our most vulnerable patients to heal and recover after their hospital stay with us. This fills a critical gap in the continuum of care,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President for Housing and Real Estate Leora Jontef. “With our partners we work diligently to find a permanent stable home whenever possible. We are proud to be the largest respite provider in the state.”

Image courtesy of Institute for Community Living

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