Public Health

Watch: California and Feds Invest in Health Care for Homeless People

KFF Health News senior correspondent Angela Hart appeared on Spectrum News 1’s “Los Angeles Times Today” on Oct. 24 to discuss her coverage of state and federal efforts to expand street medicine — a growing field that focuses on treating homeless people wherever they are, whether indoors or on the streets.

Street medicine is getting a jolt in California, which was the first state to standardize payment for street medicine providers through its Medicaid program, allowing them to be paid more consistently. There are at least 50 street medicine teams in the state, with more in the pipeline as cities grapple with growing homelessness — and the widespread drug use and mental illness that often accompany it.

Other states are also embracing street medicine, as is the Biden administration, which this month began allowing public and private insurers nationally to pay street medicine providers for medical services.

Hart discussed the dearth of traditional health care services for people without housing, particularly women, and how street medicine fills a critical gap in care.

Click here to watch her on “Los Angeles Times Today.”

Read Hart’s in-depth article about street medicine providers’ work with pregnant women and her report on national street medicine payment developments.

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