Strengthening Communities Through Data and Research

By Jeremiah Dameron, Foothold Technology

As more communities identify opportunities to generate Medicaid savings and improve individual outcomes among Medicaid beneficiaries who use homeless services, all eyes are turning to data. In recent conversations with a few Foothold Technology partners and customers, we’ve captured some thoughts about how agencies are accessing Medicaid dollars to support services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Because of good record-keeping in AWARDS, our electronic record for human services agencies, Foothold Technology customers are also finding new opportunities to partner with other entities to inform planning, drive policy and strengthen communities. Siena College, based in Loudonville, NY, has been working with Foothold Technology customer CARES, on a research project related to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data. We were pleased to learn that as a result of this partnership, a suite of additional HMIS tools developed by a professor and students at the college was recently published online. Allyson Thiessen, Director of HMIS Program and Services at CARES stated, “I wanted to pass [the news along] because the only reason we could do this partnership is due to the flexibility of AWARDS.”

We’re seeing similar partnerships and advancements in how data is supporting research in states like New Jersey. The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA)/HMIS, a Foothold Technology client, has entered into an agreement with Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy (CSHP) and the NJ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) to share encrypted data to look at the intersection of Medicaid use and homelessness. The study hopes to ultimately show the health and cost benefits of stable housing for those experiencing long-term homelessness. You can read more about this study in this blog post from  Paul Rossi, our Director of Client Services.

The Foothold Technology team is proudly working behind the scenes to assist our customers and provide support to these types of studies, but it’s the partnerships our customers are forming and the teams of people coming together who are bringing this important data to light. We’re honored to have a seat at the table. Do you have an interesting story about how you are using data to partner with others? We’d love to hear from you.

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