Medicare to Provide Expanded Primary Care At Home for Seniors under New Affordable Care Act Initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on December 20, a new demonstration program under the Affordable Care Act under which doctors and nurses will provide expanded primary care at home for Seniors on Medicare.

The new initiative is designed to test the effectiveness of delivering primary care services in a home setting in meeting the objective of improving care for Medicare beneficiaries who suffer from multiple chronic conditions.

“Created by the Affordable Care Act, the new Independence at Home Demonstration greatly expands the scope of in-home services Medicare beneficiaries can receive,” CMS announced. “The Independence at Home Demonstration will provide chronically ill patients with a complete range of primary care services,” according to CMS.

Participation in the demonstration is voluntary for Medicare beneficiaries. “Up to 10,000 Medicare patients with chronic conditions will now be able to get most of the care they need at home,” under this initial demonstration program, CMS said.

Health care providers can apply to participate in the new Independence at Home Demonstration program. Applications are due to CMS by February 6, 2012. CMS will select up to 50 medical practices that include doctors and nurses to participate in the initial demonstration program.

CMS issued the following press release on December 20, 2011, announcing and providing information about the new Independence at Home Demonstration program:

New Affordable Care Act Demonstration to provide care at home for Medicare patients

Health care reform law demonstration to improve care, lower costs for seniors and people with disabilities

Up to 10,000 Medicare patients with chronic conditions will now be able to get most of the care they need at home under a new demonstration announced today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“This program gives new life to the old practice of house calls, but with 21st Century technology and a team approach,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

Created by the Affordable Care Act, the new Independence at Home Demonstration greatly expands the scope of in-home services Medicare beneficiaries can receive. The Independence at Home Demonstration will provide chronically ill patients with a complete range of primary care services.   Participation in the Demonstration is voluntary for Medicare beneficiaries.

“In my days as a practicing nurse, I saw many patients whose health improved when they were happier with their living conditions,” said Tavenner. “When a critically-ill patient can remain in familiar surroundings, the benefits are many: the person retains greater control over their daily lives, families and caregivers report greater satisfaction with the care, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.”

CMS will join with medical practices to test the effectiveness of delivering primary care services in a home setting on improving care for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.  Medical practices led by physicians or nurse practitioners will provide primary care home visits tailored to the needs of beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations.

The Demonstration will reward healthcare providers that show a reduction in Medicare expenditures through an incentive payment if they succeed in providing high-quality care while reducing costs.  CMS will use quality measures to ensure beneficiaries experience high quality care.

Medical practices eligible to participate in the Demonstration must include physicians or nurse practitioners who have experience delivering home-based primary care.  Up to 50 practices will be selected and each must serve at least 200 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions and functional limitations.  Practices in the demonstration will be responsible for coordinating patient care with other health and social service professionals.

The new demonstration is one of a series of CMS initiatives to build a Medicare program that offers beneficiaries better care and better health at an affordable cost.  It will be supported by the CMS Innovation Center, which was created by the Affordable Care Act to develop and test new models of health care delivery and payment, and disperse best practices throughout the health care system.

Applications and Letters of Intent, if applicable, are due on February 6, 2012. Additional information about this demonstration, including how to apply, can be found at

http://www.cms.gov/DemoProjectsEvalRpts/downloads/IAH_FactSheet.pdf

Questions on this demonstration may be submitted to CMS at:  IndependenceAtHomeDemo@cms.hhs.gov.

More Information

For information about other innovative programs to improve health care in the U.S. being sponsored by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation under the Affordable Care Act, see  HelpingYouCare™ reports on:

NFCA Calls for Family Caregivers to Help Support the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation under the Affordable Care Act

HHS Announces Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative to Reward Better Coordination of Care

GOP Senators Seek Investigation of $10B Medicare Innovation Center under Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act Will Save $120 Billion for Medicare over 5 Years

See also the HelpingYouCare™ resource pages on VoicesForCare™, including:

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Copyright © 2011 Care-Help LLC, publisher of HelpingYouCare™.

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