An Efficient Nurse Practitioner–Led Community-Based Service Model for Delivering Coordinated Care to Persons With Serious Mental Illness at Risk for Homelessness

Access to mental health care is a struggle for those with serious mental illness (SMI). About 25% of homeless suffer from SMI, compared with 4.2% of the general population. From 2003 to 2012, St. Paul’s Center (SPC) operated a unique model to provide quality care to the homeless and those at risk for homelessness, incarceration, and unnecessary hospitalization because of SMI. Data were available for analysis for the years 2008 to 2010. 

The SPC was developed, managed, and staffed by board-certified psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners, offering comprehensive mental health services and coordinated interventions. All clients were housed and none incarcerated. From 2008 to 2010, only 3% of clients were hospitalized, compared with 7.5% of adults with SMI. Clinical, academic, and community partnerships increased value, but Medicaid reimbursement was not available. 

Mental health provisions in the recently passed 21st Century Cures Act support community mental health specialty treatment. The SPC provides a template for similar nurse practitioner–led models.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
United States