Activate Care and Boston Medical Center Join Forces with Community Partners Testing Housing Prescriptions as Health Care

Activate Care, a national provider of team-based care coordination technology and services, today announced a collaboration with Housing Prescriptions as Health Care at Boston Medical Center, a project studying the effects of an innovative intervention that combines services across the health, housing, social and legal service sectors in order to improve housing stability and child health outcomes.  

Housing Prescriptions as Health Care is led by Children’s HealthWatch researchers and explores how coordinated and comprehensive housing services offered through intensive case management improves housing stability and health outcomes for high health care utilizing families of young children. Previous research links multiple housing moves with increased risks of fair or poor child health and developmental delay. Families who are behind on rent are also at risk of fair or poor health, developmental delays, and are below average in length/height, a marker for under-nutrition.

Between the years of 2010-2014, 32% of families with young children interviewed by Children’s HealthWatch in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Boston Medical Center were behind on rent during the previous year and 7% of families moved more than twice in the previous year. Given the significant associations between housing instability and child health outcomes, this project is tailored to address challenges faced by families who live in unstable homes and who are classified as high health care utilizers, defined as making three or more emergency department visits in one year.

“This is important research because we know there is no greater predictor of health than where you live,” said Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, pediatrician at Boston Medical Center and principal investigator at Children's HealthWatch. “What we want to demonstrate now is how a collaborative approach to housing services impacts housing stability and health outcomes for these families.”

Activate Care’s secure, web-based Activate CareHub™ will facilitate structured and efficient communication among medical and community care team members. Community care coordinators will use Activate Care to track the coordination effort it takes to house and stabilize families through services provided as part of the project. Care pathways will assign tasks across the team, deliver time-sensitive action reminders, and track family progress against goals and milestones.

“Boston Medical Center is on the forefront of care redesign, especially for populations with complex health and social needs,” said Ted Quinn, Activate Care CEO and Co-founder. “This program represents a large step forward in building the evidence base for collaborative approaches that address the social determinants of health in practice.”

Funded by the Boston Foundation, Children’s HealthWatch at Boston Medical Center is partnering with Project Hope Boston, Boston Housing Authority, Nuestra Comunidad Community Development Corporation, and Medical-Legal Partnership Boston for the Housing Prescriptions as Health Care program.

About Activate Care®
With Activate Care, everyone - clinicians, patients, families, and community partners - can act together to make health happen, wherever they are. Activate CareHub™ promises a better, safer, less expensive, and more flexible approach to managing healthcare’s complex tasks and achieving your goals. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., Activate Care is privately held and venture-funded by the disruptive innovation investment firm, Rose Park Advisors. For more information, visit

About Boston Medical Center
Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 487-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. It offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $117 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2016. It is the 13th largest recipient of funding in the U.S. from the National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. In 1997, BMC founded Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Inc., now one of the top ranked Medicaid MCOs in the country, as a non-profit managed care organization. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet – 14 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit

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Topics: Activate Care News