Medicare Saves Millions Thanks to Markey, Wyden Independence at Home Program
Affordable Care Act pilot program shows initial savings of $25 million, could save up to $21 billion over the next ten years
Washington (June 18, 2015) – As Congressional Republicans continue to threaten repeal of the Affordable Care Act, today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), authors of the Independence At Home (IAH) program in the health care reform law, hailed initial savings of $25 million for the pilot program. The Independence At Home Demonstration provides chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with primary care services in the home setting. It also offers incentives for providing patients with care options that offer greater independence and quality of life while reducing costs. In the first performance year of the IAH demonstration, 17 participating practices served over 8,400 Medicare beneficiaries. A fully implemented IAH program could be expected to serve between 600,000 and three million Medicare beneficiaries and – using conservative estimates – result in savings between $13.8 and $21 billion over ten years.
“Independence at Home is a great experiment that is working,” said Senator Markey. “We can design Medicare so that it works smarter, not harder for its beneficiaries. Independence at Home is steering our health care system toward a focus on quality and not simply the quantity of care, and we are saving millions for Medicare. The program allows teams of doctors and nurses to continue to care for severely ill Medicare patients in the home, bringing the house calls of yesteryear into the 21st century. With results this promising, we need to make Independence At Home a permanent Medicare program. I plan to introduce legislation to ensure that the Independence at Home program is permanently accessible to all Medicare beneficiaries and their family caregivers in the future.”
“Independence at Home finally recognizes and rewards homecare providers for the tireless work they’ve been doing for years to give our nation’s seniors quality care in the comfort of their home,” said Senator Wyden. “Today’s news clearly shows that giving quality care to seniors at home not only provides better care for those with chronic illnesses, but also holds down health costs.”
“We were honored to be chosen to be part of the Independence at Home (IAH) Demonstration and greatly appreciate the leadership, and support of Senator Markey for the IAH Demonstration and more importantly his advocacy to ensure chronically ill seniors get the high quality care they need and deserve,” said Kate Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center. “We know from our experience that the vast majority of older adults want to remain at home and we will continue to work hard to investigate outcomes to support this model of care for our patients.”
More information on the Independence at Home Demonstration can be found HERE.
In 2009, Senators Markey and Wyden introduced the Independence at Home legislation. It was added as a provision to the Affordable Care Act and enacted into law with passage of the health care reform law.