Cost-effectiveness of critical time intervention
Cost-effective programs are needed to assist homeless persons with severe mental illness in their transition from shelters to community living. This study investigated the cost-effectiveness of the critical time intervention program, a time-limited adaptation of intensive case management, which has been shown to significantly reduce recurrent homelessness among men with severe mental illness. Over the study period, the critical time intervention group and the usual services group incurred mean costs of $52,374 and $51,649, respectively, for acute care services, outpatient services, housing and shelter services, criminal justice services, and transfer income. Although difficult to conduct, studies of the cost-effectiveness of community mental health programs can yield rich information for policy makers and program planners. The critical time intervention program is not only an effective method to reduce recurrent homelessness among persons with severe mental illness but also represents a cost-effective alternative to the status quo.