Integrating Care for Better Outcomes

New program in California coordinates housing, healthcare, and other supportive services

Housing and healthcare go hand-in-hand, and for many people experiencing chronic homelessness, both are necessary to live a safe, stable, and healthy life. Step Up is partnering with healthcare providers across the state through the CalAIM program to improve access to services that meet both needs. So far thousands of our unhoused neighbors in California have benefitted.

Launched in 2022, Step Up’s ECM/ILOS partnership provides a dual service to more than 1,400 members experiencing chronic homelessness and serious mental health disorders throughout the state of California. The Enhanced Care Management (ECM) program, delivered in conjunction with local health insurance companies, connects members with a primary healthcare provider. Meanwhile, the Community Supports In Lieu of Services (ILOS) program provides housing navigation and other supportive services.

Step Up is one of the few providers in the state to offer both Enhanced Care Management and Community Supports concurrently. The result is that members work with one service coordinator, building trust and rapport. This coordination of care helps members more effectively meet all of their housing and healthcare needs.

The program is already seeing tremendous returns. With both housing and healthcare being addressed at the same time, instances of emergency room use, police calls, and other first responder interactions are significantly reduced. ECM/ILOS has helped reduce emergency room use by more than 90% amongst members, maintains 100% outpatient follow-up, and ensures that more than 95% of members are connected to primary care.

More than 22% of unhoused people in America meet the conditions for chronic homelessness — experiencing homelessness for at least a year (or repeatedly) while also struggling with a disabling condition such as a serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability. Coordinated care programs, like ECM/ILOS, are paving the way for a new era of more effective solutions to keep more people healthy and housed.

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