California’s full-service partnerships (FSPs) provide a combination of subsidized permanent housing and multidisciplinary team–based services with a focus on rehabilitation and recovery. The goal of the study was to examine whether participation in FSPs is associated with changes in health service use and costs compared with usual care.
A quasi-experimental, pre-post, intent-to-treat design with a propensity score–matched contemporaneous control group was used to compare health service use and costs among 10,231 FSP clients and 10,231 matched clients with serious mental illness who were receiving public mental health services in California from January 1, 2004, through June 30, 2010.
Among FSP participants, the mean annual number of mental health outpatient visits increased by 55.5, and annual mental health costs increased by $11,725 relative to the matched control group. Total service costs increased by $12,056.
Participation in an FSP was associated with increases in outpatient visits and their associated costs. As supportive housing programs are implemented nationally and on a large scale, these programs will likely need to be more effectively designed and targeted in order to achieve reductions in costly inpatient services.