Cost Savings and Improved Quality of Care are Hallmarks of Medicare Demonstration Project
Newswise — Washington, D.C. – The American Academy of Home Care Medicine (AAHCM) applauds the Senate Finance Committee for passage of legislation, this week, that includes extension and expansion of the Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration through the CHRONIC Care Act of 2017. The IAH provisions of the bill extend the program for an additional two years past its September 2017 expiration, increase the cap on the total number of participating beneficiaries from 10,000 to 15,000, and improve the ability of IAH programs to best serve their patients.
AAHCM is a leading advocate for the IAH model which uses interdisciplinary teams of medical and social services professionals to provide care to elders with severe chronic illness and disability in their homes, providing high quality clinical care and excellent patient experience while promising to significantly lower costs for the Medicare program.
AAHCM president Mindy Fain, M.D. said, “We especially appreciate statements made by long-time IAH champions Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ranking Member Wyden (D-OR) during the bipartisan, unanimous vote in the Finance committee hearing.” She added, “Both Senators not only praised the IAH program for its quality of care and cost savings, but also promised to continue their work to transform IAH into a national program.”
Senator Portman said, “I have seen the benefits the IAH program has provided for seniors in Northeast Ohio—it has reduced hospital readmissions, prevented costly hospital and nursing home admissions, and, most importantly, kept patients healthy and in their preferred care setting.” He pledged, to “continue to fight to make the Independence at Home program permanent.” Ranking Member Wyden replied, “I very much share your view that we have to relentlessly focus on getting IAH made permanent because it is in the right side of history – giving older people more of what they want which is to be at home with a real opportunity to save dollars.”
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that IAH practices saved over $35 million during the first two performance years while delivering high quality patient care in the home.
Legislation to make the IAH demonstration nationwide, The IAH Act (S. 464), was introduced this February by Senators Ed Markey (MA), John Cornyn (TX), Michael Bennet (CO), and Rob Portman (OH). The bipartisan legislation would expand the IAH demonstration to reach as many as 1.5 million elders with severe chronic illness and disability.
AAHCM is a non-profit professional association that represents physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers and others working in the field of home care medicine. AAHCM conducts educational conferences to advance interdisciplinary, high value health care in the home for all people in need, fosters professional development and advocates for health policy issues that advance the practice of home care medicine. For more information, visit https://www.aahcm.org.
Media Relations: Suzanne Simons