Housing Is an Essential Part of Health Care | Health Disparities | JN Learning | AMA Ed Hub [Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 18.204.227.34. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]

Housing Is an Essential Part of Health Care—“Treat ‘Em and House ‘Em”

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

People experiencing homelessness bear a disproportionate burden of chronic illnesses and are unable to consistently practice social isolation; unsurprisingly, they have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Studies from the early months of the pandemic in the United States demonstrated infection rates1 and, in some places, hospitalization rates2 in this population that were substantially higher than in those with stable housing. Like many social predicaments, homelessness is generally treated by health systems as unfortunate but ignorable; patients without homes are discharged to the street if their medical needs do not require immediate hospitalization. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made homelessness unignorable and brought the responsibility for housing squarely into the hands of health practitioners; patients experiencing homelessness who are diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19 may not meet inpatient or observation criteria, but they may spread the virus to others if discharged from the hospital.

Sign in to take quiz and track your certificates

Buy This Activity

JN Learning™ is the home for CME and MOC from the JAMA Network. Search by specialty or US state and earn AMA PRA Category 1 CME Credit™ from articles, audio, Clinical Challenges and more. Learn more about CME/MOC

Article Information

Published: March 2, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0635

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Barocas JA et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Joshua A. Barocas, MD, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston University Medical Campus, 801 Massachusetts Ave, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02131 (joshua.barocas@bmc.org).

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

References
1.
Mosites  E , Parker  EM , Clarke  KEN ,  et al; COVID-19 Homelessness Team.  Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in homeless shelters—four U.S. cities, March 27-April 15, 2020.   MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(17):521-522. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6917e1PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
2.
Hsu  DJ , McCarthy  EP , Stevens  JP , Mukamal  KJ .  Hospitalizations, costs and outcomes associated with heroin and prescription opioid overdoses in the United States 2001-12.   Addiction. 2017;112(9):1558-1564. doi:10.1111/add.13795PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
3.
Komaromy  M , Harris  M , Koenig  RM , Tomanovich  M , Ruiz-Mercado  G , Barocas  JA .  Caring for COVID's most vulnerable victims: a safety-net hospital responds.   Res Sq. Preprint published October 26, 2020. doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-97328/v1Google Scholar
4.
Gaeta  JM , De Las Nueces  D , Munson  DG , Barocas  JA , Walsh  KE .  Case 21-2020: a 66-year-old homeless man with COVID-19.   N Engl J Med. 2020;383(2):170-178. doi:10.1056/NEJMcpc2002421PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
5.
Fuchs  JD , Carter  HC , Evans  J ,  et al.  Assessment of a hotel-based COVID-19 isolation and quarantine strategy for persons experiencing homelessness.   JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(3):e210490. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0490Google Scholar
6.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Federal Register notice: temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Updated January 5, 2021. Accessed January 26, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html
7.
O’Connell  JJ .  Premature Mortality in Homeless Populations: A Review of the Literature. National Health Care for the Homeless Council, Inc; 2005.
If you are not a JN Learning subscriber, you can either:
Subscribe to JN Learning for one year
Buy this activity
jn-learning_Modal_Multimedia_LoginSubscribe_Purchase
Close
If you are not a JN Learning subscriber, you can either:
Subscribe to JN Learning for one year
Buy this activity
jn-learning_Modal_Multimedia_LoginSubscribe_Purchase
Close
With a personal account, you can:
  • Access free activities and track your credits
  • Personalize content alerts
  • Customize your interests
  • Fully personalize your learning experience
Education Center Collection Sign In Modal Right
Close

Name Your Search

Save Search
Close
With a personal account, you can:
  • Track your credits
  • Personalize content alerts
  • Customize your interests
  • Fully personalize your learning experience
jn-learning_Modal_SaveSearch_NoAccess_Purchase
Close

Lookup An Activity

or

Close

My Saved Searches

You currently have no searches saved.

Close
With a personal account, you can:
  • Access free activities and track your credits
  • Personalize content alerts
  • Customize your interests
  • Fully personalize your learning experience
Education Center Collection Sign In Modal Right
Close