Independence at Home Cost Saving Data Underscores the Value of the Medicare Home Health Benefit

June 22, 2015
Contact: Emily Adler

Independence at Home Cost Saving Data Underscores the Value of the Medicare Home Health Benefit

Skilled home healthcare improves patient outcomes and reduces spending cost for Medicare’s most vulnerable patient population

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently recently released on the performance of the Independence at Home Demonstration project - a program that provides chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with primary care services in their homes. In its first year, Independence at Home saved the Medicare program more than $25 million and provided higher quality care to homebound patients.

Participants in the Independence at Home demonstration receive individualized care from a team of healthcare providers to manage multiple chronic conditions and prevent avoidable and costly hospitalizations. On average, the demonstration saved $3,070 per participating beneficiary in the first year.

“The results of this demonstration are not only impressive, but corroborate what we already know - skilled home healthcare is both clinically advanced and cost-effective,” stated Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare. “Seniors managing multiple chronic conditions who are at risk for hospital admissions are best taken care of in the comfort of their own homes with care provided by dedicated healthcare professionals.”

Healthcare provided in the home gives physicians and nurses invaluable information about the patient’s environment and daily life, providing them with a better understanding of the person’s overall health. The Medicare home health benefit currently serves 3.5 million senior and disabled Americans who, due to their medical condition, are qualified as homebound and receive skilled care in the comfort of their own homes.

“The Independence at Home Demonstration underscores the need for public policies that support the delivery of skilled home healthcare and ensure patient access in all communities nationwide,” added Berger. “The number of Medicare beneficiaries is growing rapidly and we must ensure our system is adequately prepared to provide quality care in a cost effective manner. Skilled healthcare provided in the home both improves patient outcomes and stops the revolving door of hospital admissions and readmissions.”

The Independence at Home Demonstration is part of an effort to move the healthcare delivery system away from a fee-for-service model to one that rewards physicians and providers for the quality of care they provide patients rather than the quantity

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