Being discharged from the hospital or a post-acute medical care facility can be a daunting task for many patients and healthcare providers. One of the most challenging situations that can occur is providing medical support and resources to homeless patients. As of January 1st, 2019, California passed a law that protects homeless individuals by offering proper healthcare following their discharge.

On Your Side with Post Acute Care

Becker’s Hospital Review lists key components healthcare facilities must do once they decide to discharge the patient:

  1. Records must be kept regarding their discharge
  2. The patient must be offered food, clothing, medication, and transportation
  3. Must provide a care facility to discharge them to

Many hospitals and health systems feel they don’t have the proper tools to provide appropriate care to these individuals and have had trouble developing policies accordingly. While there are no easy solutions for this obligation, there are ways healthcare providers can give everyone the care they need.

Proper Staff Training
To provide homeless individuals with necessary care, staff should be trained to appropriately support these patients while following California’s law. They should be provided coursework to complete with hands-on training and role playing exercises that will prepare them for these unique situations. It may also be a good idea to have case managers available to help support the staff and address the needs of the homeless population.

Discharge Into a Post Acute Facility
Homeless patients should not be limited to the traditional interpretations of medical facilities, there are now different options of post-acute care they can be discharged to, e.g. rehab centers, home health services and nursing homes, community organizations, and homeless shelters. A study from the Journal of General Internal Medicine has shown homeless individuals who are provided acute and post-acute medical care will often have improved health and stability.

Follow-Up Care
To ensure the patient has the best chance of recovery, there should be staff members who follow up with them to make sure they are on the right track to recovery. This will lower their chance of readmission and provide them with optimal care.

Providing efficient care to homeless patients is no easy task, but at South Coast Post Acute we’re up to the challenge. We provide high-level quality service to all our patients and will work with everyone to make sure they get back on their feet. Contact us to learn how our services can help anyone with post-acute needs!