Assessing the impact of recovery housing on healthcare utilization in Portland, Oregon

Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2023 Sep 29:9:100192. doi: 10.1016/j.dadr.2023.100192. eCollection 2023 Dec.


Introduction: Central City Concern (CCC) operates several recovery housing sites in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region, including the Blackburn Center (Blackburn) and the Richard L. Harris Building (Harris). This retrospective, observational study was designed to assess recovery housing's impact on inpatient detoxification readmission rates and healthcare utilization patterns.

Methods: Our study population consisted of individuals discharged from CCC's Hooper Detox Stabilization Center from June 2019 to September 2020. A total of 75 clients housed at Blackburn, 63 clients housed at Harris, and 57 clients discharged as unhoused were included in the study sample. Using logistic regression for each of the two recovery housing groups relative to the unhoused group, we examined differences in readmissions to inpatient detoxification after their qualifying discharge. We then used Difference-In-Difference model to compare the per member per year (PMPY) use of different domains of health care before and after their qualifying discharge.

Results: Compared to clients discharged as unhoused, Blackburn and Harris residents had lower risk of readmissions to inpatient detoxification treatment at 90- and 180-days post-discharge. Additionally, while the mean number of PMPY emergency department visits increased for clients discharged as unhoused in the post period, the average number of emergency department visits decreased for clients who obtained recovery housing at Blackburn (DiD=-3.65 PMPY, p-value=0.02) and at Harris (DiD=-3.87 PMPY, p-value=0.01).

Conclusion: Findings highlight the impact and importance of recovery housing for individuals managing a substance use disorder and the value of healthcare system and public sector investment housing like Blackburn and Harris.

Keywords: Healthcare utilization; Homelessness; Recovery housing; Substance use disorder.