Home Healthcare Leaders Praise Pennsylvania Lawmakers for Supporting Access to Coordinated Home-Based Care

May 15, 2013
Contact: Emily White

Home Healthcare Leaders Praise Pennsylvania Lawmakers for Supporting Access to Coordinated Home-Based Care

Pennsylvania house call program hailed for reducing Medicare costs by 28 percent

Washington, DC — The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare today thanked a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators for requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extend the grants provided in the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration (MCCD) beyond the current expiration date of June 2013. The program, which began in 2001, has yielded savings for Medicare.

The bipartisan lawmakers, including Senators Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) and Representatives Mike Fitzpatrick (R) and Allyson Schwartz (D), point to the success of Health Quality Partners (HQP) of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which used one of the original 15 MCCD grants to reduce Medicare costs by 28 percent.

HQP delivers care to Pennsylvania seniors by spending time where patients are the most — in their own homes. The HQP house call program has been effective in preventing hospitalizations and managing patients' chronic conditions through direct patient interaction with trained nurses in the home setting. Enrollees must have at least one chronic illness and one hospitalization in the past year to be eligible for the program.

"There are many parallels between the Health Quality Partners success story and the Medicare home health benefit," stated Chairman Billy Tauzin, senior counsel to the Partnership. "Medicare provides access to home health to 3.5 million American seniors, which is provided by clinicians, therapists and other healthcare professionals who deliver skilled care at a low cost to the Medicare program."

Skilled home healthcare is widely recognized as clinically advanced, cost-effective and patient preferred. Many therapies once confined to a hospital or other institutional setting can now be safely and effectively administered in a patient's home.

"By calling for an extension of the MCCD initiative, Pennsylvania lawmakers are paving the way for the use of more coordinated home healthcare," added Tauzin. "This HQP program illustrates the value home health has in improving care for America's seniors while also reducing unnecessary healthcare spending."

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