Ask & Code: Documenting Homelessness Throughout the Health Care System

PowerPoint Slides(PDF)

The health care system is increasingly focusing on the social determinants of health that drive cost, service utilization, and health outcomes. Hospitals, Medicaid-managed care plans, and health providers are particularly interested in the risk factor of housing status, a key element of health. People without homes have higher morbidity and mortality coupled with more frequent and costly hospital stays compared to their housed counterparts, but better data is needed to identify individuals who are homeless and help justify funding additional services that will improve patients’ health status.

Complementing our recent policy brief, this webinar will explore how the ICD-10-CM code for homelessness (Z59.0) has been implemented at an HCH grantee in Colorado–and how a hospital system has instituted a housing status screening tool in Pennsylvania. Additionally, we’ll hear from a leading managed care entity about why Medicaid plans need to have this information and examine preliminary results from a pilot project in Texas using the Z59.0 code to identify homelessness among Medicaid beneficiaries.



  • Tracy Olsten, CPC, CPC-I, CPMA, Senior Coding Specialist, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Denver, CO
  • Brett Feldman, MSPAS, PA-C, Director, Street Medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, PA
  • Jenny Ismert, Vice President Health Policy, UnitedHealthcare Community & State
  • Barbara DiPietro, PhD, Senior Director of Policy, National HCH Council


  • Barbara DiPietro, PhD, Senior Director of Policy, National HCH Council
Categories: Assessment and Intake, Best Practices, Clinical Practice, Homeless Services, Policy and Advocacy
Tags: Webinar
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