A recent report by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed what we’ve known for over 20 years – home-based care for the highest utilizers of Medicare services delivers quality care at a lower cost.
Yesterday CMS announced that a demonstration program to increase in-home primary care for patients with chronic conditions resulted in $25 million in savings for Medicare in its first year of a three-year study. The program seeks to determine the value of home-based primary care for frail seniors with multiple chronic illnesses by avoiding pricier hospital and emergency room care.
CMS found that the overall savings achieved averaged around $3,070 per beneficiary. Patients also experienced fewer hospital readmissions within 30 days and used hospital emergency departments less frequently for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and pneumonia.
This report is the latest of illustrate the clinical and fiscal value of home healthcare for Medicare’s sickest patients:
- In 2011, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission presented similar data to Congress demonstrating that home healthcare is less expensive than care provided in institutional settings.
- The U.S. Department Veterans Affairs has experienced a 24% decrease in costs per patient per year through the Home-Based Primary Care Program.
Programs such as Medicare’s Independence at Home demonstration project will continue to confirm what home health advocates, providers and their patients already know: home health provides cost effective, clinically advanced, and patient preferred care.