Senators Markey and Wyden Applaud Inclusion of Innovative Home-based Primary Care Medicare Program in CHRONIC Care Package
Independence at Home program brings primary care medical services to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions in their homes; has saved more than $30 million in first two years
Washington (May 18, 2017) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) applauded Senate Finance Committee passage of a comprehensive chronic care package that included a two-year extension and expansion of the Independence At Home (IAH) Program, an innovative home-based primary care program that brings measurable, high-quality care to patients suffering from multiple debilitating diseases while significantly lowering costs for the Medicare program. The IAH program 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. This is an important step to expanding this program nationwide so that all older Americans, regardless of where they live, can have the opportunity to receive the best care in the most appropriate setting for their needs. The CHRONIC Care package must now be voted on by the full Senate.
“Independence at Home is putting health care in the living room instead of the emergency rooms and the Medicare program is seeing the benefits,” said Senator Markey. “We are improving the care that patients suffering from diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s receive and saving taxpayers money by catching emerging health problems early. I thank Senator Wyden for his years of partnership on this program that is improving the lives of Medicare beneficiaries and their families.”
“I’m proud that the Finance Committee’s CHRONIC Care Act included the extension and expansion of a key priority of mine – the Independence at Home program,” said Senator Wyden. “Independence at Home represents the idea that Medicare can provide high-quality care to seniors with complex chronic conditions where they want it most – at home. Oregon has a long tradition of this kind of care, particularly through Housecall Providers which has been a leader every step of the way, and I’m thrilled that they will continue to be rewarded for the transformational work they are doing.”
In 2012, Independence At Home began as a three-year demonstration program. In 2015, the House of Representatives and Senate approved a two-year extension. Senators Markey and Wyden are the original co-authors of the Independence at Home program.