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Strange Bedfellows:. Thoughts on the Once and Future Role of Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers in the Care of Homeless Persons James J. O’Connell, M.D. Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Departments of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center

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strange bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows:

Thoughts on the

Once and Future Role of Hospitals and Academic Medical Centers in the Care of Homeless Persons

James J. O’Connell, M.D.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Departments of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center

Presented at National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference

July 2006

bhchp basic goals 1984
BHCHP Basic Goals 1984
  • Establish a health services care delivery model to provide continuity of care from shelter and street to hospital;
  • Provide care through multidisciplinary outreach teams;
  • Establish the capacity to meet the needs of homeless individuals for home-type respite care

O'Connell/BHCHP

city of boston annual census 12 13 2004
City of BostonAnnual Census, 12/13/2004
  • Among 3,944 homeless individuals identified on a single night census
  • 888 (22%) in medical/mental health facilities
        • 14 emergency departments
        • 286 medical hospitals
        • 84 medical respite beds (McInnis House)
        • 225 detox
        • 279 mental health hospitals/inpatient programs

O'Connell/BHCHP

slide5

MGH Mission, 1810

“When in distress, every man becomes our neighbor…It is unnecessary to urge these truths on those who are already in the habit of cherishing them…The relief to be afforded to the poor, in a country so rich as ours, should perhaps be measured only by their necessities.”

From the “Circular Letter” of 1810 of John C. Warren and James Jackson leading to establishment of the Massachusetts General Hospital

O'Connell/BHCHP

mgh bhchp pilot project
26 random MGH charts reviewed of persons admitted to BMH during FY 2005

Ground rules: team or RN case manager describe patient as ready for D/C

Number of days from that point until admission to BMH

Conclusion: 48% potential reduction in ALOS with ready access to respite beds (i.e. no waiting list)

Summary of results:

336 total days

ALOS 12.9 days

159 “excess” days

MGH/BHCHP Pilot Project

O'Connell/BHCHP

mgh bhchp pilot study
From March through June, 19 admissions “fast tracked” from MGH to BMH

16 inpatient service

3 directly from EW

Results:

110 total days

75 days “saved”

Days “saved” determined by MGH RN case managers

MGH/BHCHP Pilot Study

O'Connell/BHCHP

other observations
Other Observations
  • Admission from MGH EW to BMH, discharged to Housing First after 100 days in respite care

- 45 MGH EW visits in past year

- 0 MGH EW visits since BMH admission and housing (6 months)

  • 5 persons currently at BMH with LOS greater than 90 days

- 4/5 admitted directly from MGH

O'Connell/BHCHP

bhchp and ed high utilizers boston 2005
BHCHP and ED High UtilizersBoston, 2005
  • MGH: 16 BHCHP patients among top 25
  • Accounted for a total of 344 ED visits
    • 35 visits (10%) resulted in hospital admission
    • 309 visits (90%) discharged from ED

O'Connell/BHCHP

hospitals and homeless persons what are the numbers
Hospitals and Homeless Persons:What are the numbers???
  • 14,200 BHCHP adult patients seen in 2004-5 matched with Partners HealthCare database:

3283 common patients

  • 2090 (15%) seen at MGH
  • 1148 (8%) seen at BWH
    • only 259 of these 3283 served at both MGH/BWH

O'Connell/BHCHP

bhchp and partners healthcare 2004 2005
BHCHP and Partners Healthcare2004-2005
  • Hospital Admissions:

MGH: 561 persons, 1114 admissions ALOS 7.5 days

BWH: 269 persons, 506 admissions ALOS 4.2 days (OB-GYN)

O'Connell/BHCHP

bhchp and partners healthcare 2004 20051
BHCHP and Partners’ Healthcare2004-2005
  • Emergency Room Use:

MGH: 1,515 persons (73% of 2,090) had total of 5,539 ED visits

      • Average # ED visits: 3.7
      • 865 (16%) of ED visits resulted in admission

BWH: 952 persons (83% of 1,148) had total of 2,836 ED visits

      • Average # ED visits: 3.0
      • 319 (11%) of ED visits resulted in admission

O'Connell/BHCHP

bhchp and ed high utilizers boston 20051
BHCHP and ED High UtilizersBoston, 2005
  • Boston Medical Center 23/25 (92%)

(Boston University Medical School)

  • New England Medical Center 14/25 (56%)

(Tufts Medical School)

  • Massachusetts General Hospital 16/25 (64%)

(Harvard Medical School)

O'Connell/BHCHP