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Hospital Costs Associated with Homelessness in New York City

New England Journal of Medicine, 1998, Sharon A. Salit et al.

This 1998 article explores whether homeless individuals have higher medical costs than low-income individuals in housing. To answer this question, the researchers compare thousands of medical records for homeless and low-income individuals in New York City. They find that homeless patients remain hospitalized 4.1 days longer per admission than low-income patients. The costs of these extra days per discharge average $4,094 for psychiatric patients, $3,370 for HIV/AIDS patients and $2,414 for all patient types. The researchers conclude that “decisions to fund housing and supportive services for the homeless should take into account the potential of these services to reduce the high costs of hospitalization in this population.” This article was written by Sharon A. Salit, Evelyn M. Kuhn, Arthur J. Hartz, Jade M. Vu and Andrew L. Mosso.

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Research category: Cost Savings, Health