MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hennepin Healthcare has been awarded this year’s Gage Award for their work to reduce readmission rates for those experiencing homelessness.

According to a hospital spokesperson, HCMC’s efforts came after an analysis showed housing instability accounting for a high rate of 30-day readmissions; of patient charts reviewed by HCMC, three in four fell into this group.

The hospital cited studies showing that those experiencing homelessness are four times more likely to be hospitalized and at an increased risk to be readmitted, or to undergo a prolonged hospital stay.

HCMC says that readmissions went down about 12.4% over a one-year period for the targeted population.

“Homelessness remains a significant health-related social need that complicates care and leads to poorer outcomes. We partnered with community-based ACO care managers in the inpatient setting to help build rapport with patients, promote care continuity, and connect patients experiencing homelessness to social services,” Dr. Danielle Robertshaw, senior medical director of Hennepin Healthcare Community Connections, said. Hennepin Healthcare also developed a novel analytics tool to identify risk factors indicating housing insecurity to help us identify eligible patients.”

The award was given by a group representing more than 300 hospitals caring for low-income and marginalized populations.