WBEZ Report: Hospitals Give Housing To Repeat ER Patients

Glenn Baker, 45, in his South Side Chicago apartment. His rent is paid largely by the University of Illinois Hospital
Glenn Baker, 45, in his South Side Chicago apartment. His rent is paid largely by the University of Illinois Hospital. Miles Bryan/WBEZ
Glenn Baker, 45, in his South Side Chicago apartment. His rent is paid largely by the University of Illinois Hospital
Glenn Baker, 45, in his South Side Chicago apartment. His rent is paid largely by the University of Illinois Hospital. Miles Bryan/WBEZ

WBEZ Report: Hospitals Give Housing To Repeat ER Patients

Emergency rooms have long cared for so-called “ER super-utilizers,” patients that repeatedly come in for their ailments, or in some cases, for a warm bed to sleep in. Here in Chicago, the University of Illinois Hospital took a novel approach to caring for those chronic visitors by offering them housing. That’s because half of the top 100 super-utilizers were homeless.

The results have been positive. The newly housed patients are using the ER much less frequently and report that their health has improved, and the emergency department is saving money and time.

Morning Shift talks to WBEZ reporter Mile Bryan about this story, which he has been following for going on two years.