Permanent Housing for the Homeless Lowers Health Care Costs

Permanent Housing for the Homeless Lowers Health Care Costs

Better Health Through Housing is a supportive housing program designed to reduce healthcare costs by moving homeless people from emergency rooms into stable housing.

The University of Illinois Hospital decided to participate in this program as part of its health equity mission. Its staff later discovered that besides providing housing, the program improved health and reduced the frequency of expensive emergency room visits.


Video Spotlight: Ted Talk: Housing Is Health


This post is based on a 90.9 WBUR report, To Reduce Chronic Homelessness, a Chicago Hospital Is Treating It as A Medical Condition, by J. Hobson, February 21, 2019; and the YouTube video, Health Equity: Housing is Health | Steve Brown | TEDxRushU, by Tedx, January 16, 2019. Image source: Ingram Publishing

Discussion Questions:

1. Is homelessness an operations issue?

Guidance: The homeless are “customers” of multiple processes performed by many organizations: hospitals, prisons, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, police departments, Medicaid, etc. As a result, they directly influence the operations of these organizations. Very interestingly, the article mentions that to achieve better solutions to the problems experienced or caused by the homeless, it’s better to coordinate processes and resources than to work in silos.

2. How Continue reading

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Gold Is the Midas Touch of Tipping

Gold Is the Midas Touch of Tipping

February 3, 2019

A study published in the March 2018 Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences reported that the color gold in restaurants can lead to a higher tip for the wait staff.

Previous studies have demonstrated a weak relationship between good service and tip size. In this study, the researchers compared the effect on tip size by varying the color of tablecloths (white vs. gold) and billing folders (black vs. gold).

Black folders resulted in an average tip of 18.9%, while gold folders had an average of 21.5% in tips.

This post is based on the Marketwatch article, A touch of gold in a restaurant means fatter tips, by Na Young Lee, January 18, 2019; and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences article, Hey big spender! A golden (color) atmospheric effect on tipping behavior, by N.Y. Lee, S.M. Noble, and D. Biswas, March 2018. Image source: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How can the study results be used to improve restaurant operations?

Guidance: At first, this appears to be a marketing study.  And it is!  But students should also see that marketing information can be used to create a more profitable service Continue reading

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