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.
Pregnant, addicted and homeless women find hope in street medicine
California is a leader in the field of street medicine. It was the first to standardize payments for street medicine providers via its Medicaid program. This allows them to receive more consistent payment. 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.
Street medicine is also being embraced by other states, and the Biden Administration, which began this month allowing private and public insurers to pay for street medicine services.
Hart spoke about the lack of traditional health services available to people who are homeless, especially women, and how they fill that gap with street medicine.