National Institute for Medical Respite Care to Launch July 15

NASHVILLE, TN, July 7, 2020 — On July 15, 2020, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council will launch the National Institute for Medical Respite Care (NIMRC), the first-of-its-kind institute to identify best practices, offer expert services, and advance state-of-the-field
knowledge in medical respite care (also known as medical recuperative care).

With the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, people experiencing homelessness are among our most vulnerable neighbors and face an increased likelihood of becoming infected or suffering severe outcomes. Medical respite care programs provide care to patients without homes who are not sick enough to remain in the hospital but are too sick to be on the streets or in a traditional shelter.

“The past several months have magnified the need for medical respite care,” said Bobby Watts, CEO of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, which will launch NIMRC as a special initiative. “COVID-19 brought new attention to the fact that patients experiencing homelessness need access to medical and mental health services and supportive services in a safe, therapeutic setting. Medical respite care fits the bill.”

Medical respite care is short-term residential care for physical and behavioral needs and reduces emergency room usage and hospital readmissions for patients without homes. Those who participate in medical respite programs are 50 percent less likely to be readmitted to a hospital at three months and 12 months post-hospital discharge, which ultimately generates significant savings for hospitals and communities.

“There is no doubt medical respite care improves the lives of individuals, families, and communities,” said Watts. “Through NIMRC, we will work with our partners, consumers, and others to make medical respite care a more readily available part of the solution to ending homelessness.”

To learn more about medical respite care, visit NIMRC online at beginning July 15, 2020. Additional information about the National Health Care for the Homeless Council can be found at


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