California and feds invest in health care for homeless people

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KFF Health News senior reporter Angela Hart appeared on Spectrum News 1’s “Los Angeles Times Today” in October. 24 to discuss its coverage of state and federal efforts to expand street medicine—a growing field that focuses on treating homeless people wherever they live, indoors or on the street.

Street drugs are getting a boost in California, which was the first state to standardize payments for street drug providers through the Medicaid program, allowing them to be paid more consistently. There are at least 50 street drug gangs in the state, with more in the pipeline as cities grapple with growing homelessness — and the rampant drug use and mental illness that often accompanies it.

Other states are also embracing street drugs, such as the Biden administration, which this month began allowing public and private investors to pay street drug providers for medical services.

Hart discusses the lack of traditional health care services for homeless people, especially women, and how street drugs fill an important gap in care.

Click here To see him in the “Los Angeles Times Today.”

Read Hearts In-depth article About the work of street drug providers with pregnant women and his report In National Street Medicines Payment Development.

Kaiser Health NewsReprinted from this article khn.orgA national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of KFF’s core operating programs – the independent source for health policy research, polling and journalism.

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