High rates of homelessness across the nation continue to be a social issue that impacts the health care system. Often times, homeless individuals in need of care are not sick enough to be in a hospital, but are too sick to be on the streets or at a shelter. With limited resources available, they often do not have a primary care provider. This provides a challenge to patients and physicians as of how to overcome the barriers that impede the homeless from receiving basic care.¹
Health centers are often times the solution. They provide care to anyone in need, including low-income individuals. However, there are still many homeless people without health care across the nation.
Homelessness is associated with many health issues, including chronic illnesses and a shorter life expectancy.² Long term homelessness ultimately lowers an individual’s health due to lack of care and shelter from outside elements. Many injuries such as a blister or sprain can become increasingly worse if left unattended, resulting in health risks that could have been avoided.
The social determinants of homelessness and health inequities are often intertwined. Certintell’s goal is to fix this problem and expand health care to the homeless.
CARE GAP: Each year, America’s Community Health Centers serve 1.3 million people who experience homelessness.² People who are homeless are at greater risk of disease and behavioral health conditions that make them vulnerable to poor health, disability and premature death.² The continuation of the expansion of health care to the homeless is critical to ensure the safety and health of all community members.
CERTINTELL SOLUTION: Certintell’s goal is to contribute to the expansion of health care to the homeless by equipping safety-net providers with technology to serve the homeless through telehealth solutions. Our software, with a focus on care management services, allows those who do not have health care access to be seen by a provider from any location with an internet connection, through a mobile device.
➠ Visit ‘National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s page for more ways to advocate for this focus day.
This article was first featured as a part of Certintell’s 2019 National Health Center Week efforts to support the awareness, advocacy and celebration of Community Health Centers during the annual weeklong event. The original content has been expanded to provide more value to the reader.
¹ “Medical Respite Care | NHCHC.” 2019, nhchc.org/clinical-practice/medical-respite-care/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsoSdipiS5QIVdBh9Ch23aAWNEAAYASAAEgKHYvD_BwE.
² “Monday, 8/5 – Health Care for the Homeless Day.” National Health Center Week, 9 May. 2017, healthcenterweek.org/healthcare-for-the-homeless.
³ “What are the top 10 health issues homeless people face? | The Homeless Hub.” 6 Feb. 2015, www.homelesshub.ca/blog/what-are-top-10-health-issues-homeless-people-face.