Senator has introduced bipartisan legislation to make Affordable Care Act pilot program permanent; Boston Medical Center is home to one of 15 demonstration sites across the country
Washington (August 9, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), House author of the Independence at Home (IAH) program in the health care reform law, hailed savings of $10 million for the second year of the pilot program, an average of $1,010 per beneficiary. Independence at Home is an innovative, team-based model that is bringing measurable, high-quality care directly into the homes of patients suffering from multiple debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, congestive heart failure, diabetes and Parkinson’s, while significantly lowering costs for the Medicare program. In its first year, the Independence at Home program showed savings of $25 million. A fully implemented IAH program could be expected to benefit two million Medicare beneficiaries and save billions of dollars over the next decade.
Last month, Senators Markey, John Cornyn (R-Texas), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced legislation to convert the Independence at Home Demonstration into a permanent, national Medicare program.
“After two years, Independence at Home has proven that it’s a multi-million dollar success,” said Senator Markey. “While refocusing our health care system on quality and not simply the quantity of care, Independence at Home is saving millions for Medicare. Independence at Home is bringing the age of the black bag into the era of the Blackberry, modernizing the house calls of yesteryear for the 21st century. It is time to pass legislation to make Independence at Home a permanent Medicare program, and I look forward to working with my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to make this innovative and proven program accessible to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers in the future.”
“We are proud to be part of the continued success of the Independence at Home Demonstration, and we commend Senator Markey for his work to ensure that chronically ill seniors receive the highest standard of health care in the best setting possible,” said Kate Walsh, President and CEO of Boston Medical Center. “Our patients who participate in the program have better access to the care they need and as a result, they have lower rates of hospitalization, readmission within 30 days, and Emergency Department visits. This innovative model is a win-win, for our patients and for the health care system.”
Independence at Home empowers teams of doctors, care givers and other health care professionals to coordinate and provide primary care services in the comfort of patients’ own homes, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions, as well as the costs associated with them. More information on the Independence at Home Demonstration can be found HERE.
In 2009, Senators Markey and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) 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.