Image of nurses' hands at computer keyboard

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking stakeholder comments on its plan to test a supportive services model that aims to cut down on seniors’ nursing home, hospital and emergency room utilization.

HUD plans to collect health and wellness information from roughly 4,000 seniors living in 40 HUD-affiliated demonstration sites, the agency said In a notice posted Tuesday. The demonstration, announced earlier this year, will test the use of a full-time enhanced service coordinator and a part-time wellness nurse in communities in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and South Carolina.

“With housing as a key social determinant of health, HUD wishes to leverage its properties as a platform for the coordination and delivery of services to better address the interdependent health and supportive service needs of its older residents,” HUD officials wrote.

Addressing low-income seniors’ health issues could help delay their admission to a nursing home and reduce the amount of hospital or emergency room care they require, HUD said.

“The publication of this notice tells us that HUD continues to move forward on this important demonstration, which is fantastic. In the short term, we’re glad that residents can soon start benefiting from these staff at the demonstration sites,” Linda Couch, LeadingAge vice president of housing policy/congressional affairs and housing, told McKnight’s Senior Living. “For the longer term, we are eager for the results of the demonstration on how well the interventions allow residents to maintain independence and avoid more costly levels of care.”

Public comments on the testing of the model are due by Nov. 24.