Street medicine is the practice that involves caring for homeless individuals outdoors. is a burgeoning field — an unfortunate reality as America confronts a growing homelessness epidemic. But it’s at least become a little more rewarding after the Biden administration made an under-the-radar yet revolutionary change to Medicaid.
The Health 202 was produced by The Washington Post in collaboration with KFF Health News.
Starting this month, doctors, nurses and other providers can bill the program for low-income people for treating the homeless anywhere they are — indoors or on the streets. Medicaid previously paid for only care provided in traditional settings such as hospitals, clinics, or offices.
Now, street practitioners are demanding more. They want higher Medicaid rates that reflect the costs of their services. These are, they claim, far more time-consuming and labor-intensive than care provided in hospitals or clinics.
“Rates have to reflect the difficulty of the work so this can be sustainable,” said Michelle Schneidermann, a specialist in street medicine and former leader of homelessness initiatives Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital What is…?