Stakeholder report 2021

Ohio Housing Trial Study Combats Infant Mortality

Newborn swaddled baby in a blanket with oxygen

In Franklin County, Ohio, pre-term birth/prematurity has remained the leading cause of newborn illness and mortality since 2013. In 2018, to help address that concern, CareSource teamed with CelebrateOne, The Homeless Families Foundation, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and Nationwide Children’s Hospital to launch an innovative pilot program called Healthy Beginnings at Home. The program provides rental subsidies and housing stabilization services to Medicaid-eligible pregnant women who are near homeless or experiencing homelessness and are at greater risk of infant mortality.

Through collaborative partnerships, the program was able to house 100% of housing intervention participants despite either limited or no income, poor credit and other barriers to housing. Fifty of the participants would receive community-based services, a rental subsidy and housing stabilization services. Another 50 would be randomly assigned to receive community-based services. The difference between the Healthy Beginnings at Home trial participants and control group is dramatic:

Healthy Beginnings at Home (HBAH) Trial Findings:

Full Term, Healthy Weight Babies HBAH Participants
Control Group: 24
NICU Admission Days HBAH Participants
Control Group: 29
Fetal Deaths HBAH Participants
Control Group: 4

As a result of this trial study, CareSource plans to test the Healthy Beginnings at Home model in other communities and at a greater scale. This way, we hope to gain a better understanding of the impact on maternal, birth and child health outcomes and potential cost benefits related to investment in the HBAH model.

At the same time, we will continue to promote housing stability for pregnant women with extremely low incomes who experience homelessness or housing insecurity by providing rental assistance and access to safe, quality rental units with housing stabilization services. For all future studies, we will apply an equity lens to better understand and reverse health inequities associated with racism.

Read the full Healthy Beginnings at Home Policy Brief from Celebrate One.

“Before Healthy Beginnings at Home, I was sleeping on the floor at my boyfriend’s mom’s house – pregnant. Nobody wants to do that. It’s not easy to do that. Now, not only do I have a stable place to raise my family, but I have a place for myself.”

– Healthy Beginnings at Home participant