Senators Markey and Wyden Applaud Passage of Innovative Home-based Primary Care Medicare Program in CHRONIC Care Package
Washington (September 27, 2017) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) applauded the Senate’s passage of a comprehensive chronic care package that included a two-year extension and expansion of the Independence At Home (IAH) Program. IAH is an innovative home-based primary care program that brings high-quality care to patients suffering from multiple debilitating chronic illnesses while lowering costs for Medicare. The IAH program empowers teams of doctors and other health care professionals to coordinate and provide primary care services in the comfort of patients’ own homes, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits, avoidable hospitalizations, and hospital readmissions, as well as the costs associated with them. Senators Markey and Wyden are the original co-authors of the IAH program, which began as a three-year demonstration in 2012. In 2015, Congress approved a two-year extension.
“My mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, lived the last years of her life in the comfort of my childhood home,” said Senator Markey. “Today’s vote brings us one step closer to ensuring that more mothers, fathers, and grandparents suffering from devastating chronic conditions will be able to receive high-quality care outside of the hospital or nursing home through the Independence at Home program, all while saving money for Medicare. I look forward to continuing my work with Senator Wyden to build upon the successes of this demonstration.”
“Independence at Home is all about helping seniors who want to stay at home do so while receiving high-quality health care for their complex chronic illnesses,” said Senator Wyden. “The CHRONIC Care Act’s extension and expansion of Independence at Home is an important step towards demonstrating this approach works for seniors while bringing down health care costs. I’m especially pleased that this extension will allow Housecall Providers in Oregon to continue leading the way on innovative home-based health care. I will continue working to get this critical extension of Independence at Home to the president’s desk.
The CHRONIC Care package passed unanimously out of the Senate Finance Committee in May. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a markup of similar legislation to extend and expand the IAH program on September 13th.