HHS Releases Two New Reports on Using Medicaid to Cover Services for People in Permanent Supportive Housing

October 14, 2014    

ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Anna Blasco

Spotlight On...
HHS Releases Two New Reports on Using Medicaid to Cover Services for People in Permanent Supportive Housing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) recently released two new reports on utilizing Medicaid for people experiencing homelessness. The first report describes opportunities for states to use Medicaid to support the health and behavioral health services needed by people experiencing chronic homelessness. It discusses Medicaid's legislative authorities, specific provisions in state Medicaid plans, benefit design, payment mechanisms, contract provisions, and implementation strategies that states could replicate or adapt. The second report is a study which describes findings from six innovative communities that are using Medicaid to cover some of the health and behavioral health services in supportive housing.

If you are interested in hosting a community screening of "The Homestretch," email darcy@picturemotion.com to learn how you can bring The Homestretch to your community.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently released the Notice for Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time (PIT) Data Collection for Continuums of Care (CoCs), which informs CoCs of information that must be collected in order to successfully complete the 2015 HIC and PIT counts. A key change to the 2015 PIT count is that CoCs will be required to report the total number of youth households, including the race, ethnicity, and gender data for parenting youth and unaccompanied youth counted.

We Have the Funding to End Veteran Homelessness: Now What?
By Kate Seif

Recently the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it was releasing an additional $207 million in "surge funding" for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. In this post, we look at what providers in the communities that received surge funding should be doing to ensure these funds are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Why Don't We Have Enough Beds for Homeless Youth?
By Samantha Batko
There are not enough beds for the number of homeless youth in this country. Every night, homeless youth are turned away from shelter and housing programs because of a lack of capacity. In this post, we look at ways to solve this problem-or at least begin to address it.
Here Are Five Tips for Site Visits with Members of Congress this Fall
By Jaime Colman
While Congress is on recess until November 12, homeless advocates can take advantage of the election season to engage directly with Members of Congress. In this post, we provide five quick tips for organizing a tour of your local homeless assistance program for your Member of Congress.


The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.


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The Alliance is online: on Facebook, on Twitter, on our blog, and on our website! Join the Alliance's online community, and stay up-to-date with homelessness and housing information.


Visit the Center for Capacity Building to learn more about the ways the Center can help your community end homelessness.

   In the News

SSVF Program Update: October 10, 2014

1.    VA Data Guide – Addresses the New HMIS Data Standards!
2.    Recording of VEHU Session
3.    SOAR Veteran Brief
4.    Quarterly Reports
5.    The Benefits Assistance and Support System (BASS) Project
6.    Reminder: Priority 1 Webinar on October 16th

VA Data Guide and Upcoming Webinar – Addresses the New HMIS Data Standards!
The VA Data Guide has been revised to include information regarding HUD's new HMIS data standards. The SSVF University site will post a number of new training materials for grantees on topics such as Data Collection & Reporting 101, Reporting Data through VA Repository, HMIS Beyond Data Collection, HMIS Leads and Vendors, and Data Quality.  As the HMIS data standards took effect on October 1st, the SSVF Program Office is making every effort to post these materials by next week.  Please note that the SSVF Program Office will host a webinar on 10/30/2014 at 2:00 PM Eastern to provide instruction on the monthly data uploads.  Representatives from Abt Associates will highlight the significant changes that affect data collection and reporting among SSVF grantees.  A registration link will be provided in the coming days.  Please save the date!  October 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM Eastern.

An Introduction to SSVF and Overview of Compliance & Reporting Recording Now Available
On September 25th, the SSVF Program Office hosted an interactive webinar on an introduction to SSVF, overview of compliance, and reporting through the MY VEHU Campus. The recorded webinar can be found at
http://www.myvehucampus.com/desktop/#loc=contentid8912 by using the search feature and typing SSVF.  This website requires registration to view the event.  Non-VA entities may enroll following the online instructions. 

SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Connecting Veterans Issues Brief
The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center recently released an issues brief (attached) on connecting Veterans to SSI/SSDI benefits and the role that this linkage plays in ending homelessness among Veterans. The brief provides a detailed description of the types of benefits, how social security benefits can interact with VA benefits, expedited processes, community examples, and resources.

Final Quarterly Reports for FY2014: IMPORTANT CHANGES
Please note the modification to the reporting deadlines for grant  programs that have just completed the last quarter of FY2014. 
  • GRANTEES WITHOUT EXTENSIONS: submit qualitative/narrative and quantitative/financial QPR (Excel) by November 17th.
  • GRANTEES WITH EXTENSIONS: submit qualitative/narrative QPR (Excel) by November 17th

To clarify, SSVF would like ALL grantees, regardless of extensions, to submit the Qualitative Quarterly Performance Report to Regional Coordinators no later than November 17th.  Those grantees who have been granted an extension will receive a new deadline for submitting the quantitative/financial (Excel) QPR once your grant term officially closes.  Grantees should use the reporting templates that they have been using throughout the year; please note that both the qualitative/narrative report and the quantitative/financial report should be in their excel individualized templates. No pdfs will be accepted. Please contact your Regional Coordinator if you have questions.  It has come to our attention that grantees may still need to make a final HHS transfer among subaccounts.  We will provide guidance on the timeline for this process in the coming week.

The Benefits Assistance and Support System (BASS) Project
The VA is working to prevent homelessness among Veterans by assisting in the development of web-based tools that will aid Veterans in applying for benefits. Eligibility and access criteria can be complicated, and many Veterans lack the information they need to enroll or even to find appropriate benefits for which they qualify. In 38 selected cities* the Benefits Assistance and Support System (BASS), will provide Veterans with information on mainstream benefits available through national programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, Medicaid, Medicare, various Social Security programs, the Child Health Insurance program, as well as locally administered legal aid, credit counseling, vocational, income, and benefits assistance including the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program.

To get assistance in your community*, go to www.bass4vets.org

SSVF Webinar Invitation: SSVF Webinar Series: Priority 1 / Surge National Kick-Off on Thursday 10/16 2PM EDT
SSVF will host a webinar for the "Priority 1 (P1) / Surge National Kick-Off" on Thursday 10/16 from 2:00PM – 3:30PM EDT. Grantees awarded P1 funding are required to participate. Grantees serving in P1 communities through their Priority 2 or 3 grant are strongly encouraged to attend. Please see the below link for registration. 

SSVF Webinar Series: Priority 1/Surge National Kick-Off
Join us for a Webinar on October 16
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
This live webinar is for grantees, CoC leads, and VA staff in communities that were awarded priority 1 
(e.g., "SSVF surge") funding for FY2015.  Priority 1 funding is intended to both help VA achieve an end to 
homelessness among Veterans by the end of 2015 and support long-term system changes to better prevent 
homelessness and ensure that when homelessness does occur, it is rare and brief.  The webinar will include 
a review VA goals, expectations for SSVF grantees related to collaboration with local CoC and VA partners, 
and VA technical assistance and training available to support achievement of VA, grantee and CoC goals.

SSVF Webinar Series: Priority 1/Surge National Kick-Off
Thursday, October 16, 2014
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining 
the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Mac®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
Mobile attendees
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet 

Baltimore County HMIS News 10/14/14

Please view our HMIS News below, and note the new procedure for training requests.  Thank you!

Systems Administrator 
HMIS Support Team 

Always use ServicePoint manuals. Contact us for support. NEVER guess! Spending a few moments to properly enter data, or contacting us, saves hours later.
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