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Health Care and Public Service Use and Costs

Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009, Mary E. Larimer et al.

This peer-reviewed study, fully titled "Health Care and Public Service Use and Costs Before and After Provision of Housing for Chronically Homeless Persons with Severe Alcohol Problems," evaluates the cost effectiveness of a supportive housing program in Seattle, Washington. The program -- known as 1811 Eastlake -- houses chronically homeless individuals with severe alcoholism. Researchers compare the use of public services such as emergency rooms between 95 program participants and 39 wait-listed individuals without housing and services. The study concludes that the Eastlake program leads to both public cost savings and reduced alcohol consumption among participants. After one year of housing, the 95 tenants had reduced their total public costs by more than $4 million compared to the year prior to enrollment. This article was written by Mary E. Larimer, Daniel K. Malone, Michelle D. Garner, David C. Atkins, Bonnie Burlingham, Heather S. Lonczak, Kenneth Tanzer, Joshua Ginzler, Seema L. Clifasefi, William G. Hobson and G. Alan Marlatt.

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Research category: Cost Savings, Health