Orange County Recuperative Care Program

Brief Description
In Orange County, homeless persons needing further recovery from an acute illness or injury after hospitalization would benefit from recuperative care where they can recover with medical oversight. Orange County has no recuperative care beds available to provide this type of post-hospital care, despite having a homeless population of nearly 21,500. In 2008, Orange County hospitals completed a three month survey that showed an estimated discharge of 292 homeless patients, of which 34% or 102 needed recuperative care. Hospitals kept the homeless patients on an average of 3 additional days in order to locate an available bed.

Measured or Anticipated Outcomes
  • Improve access to recuperative care for homeless persons.
  • Reduce number of unnecessary days for homeless persons in hospital.
  • Establish 35 beds for recuperative care and maintain at capacity.
  • Connect homeless persons to social services, medical services and transitional or permanent housing.
  • Create a venue where NHF tracks hospital challenges and solutions.
  • The proposed model can be self sustaining at the conclusion of the demonstration period and is a potential model for replication.

Policy Implications
  • The project seeks to establish that recuperative care provides medical care and oversight in a clean, safe environment for homeless patients transitioning out of an acute care hospital and also reduces unnecessary hospital stay days and associated costs for hospitals.

This project has been generously supported by seed money from NHF.

Key Partners
The recuperative Care Workgroup includes County of Orange, Orange County Rescue Mission, Hospital Association of Southern California, Kaiser Permanente, Saddleback Memorial, Western Medical Center Anaheim, St. Joseph Hospital, National Health Foundation and HASC Public Resources.

Elizabeth Yang, Program Manager at