NAHC signs letter urging Congress to Support Independence at Home Act
March 13, 2017 03:02 PM
The National Association of Home Care & Hospice has joined a list of interested organizations signing a letter encouraging senior members of Congress to support the Independence at Home Act (S.464), bipartisan legislation which would expand the highly successful independence at home (IAH) demonstration project.
The letter applauds Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennett (D-CO) for “championing this legislation” and looks forward to their “continued collaboration to improve access to care for this high-needs population.”
The IAH project, 1866E of the Medicare Act, has been providing home-based primary care to over 10,000 frail and elderly Americans with severe chronic illness and disability over the last five years. It uses interdisciplinary teams to coordinate all medical and social services in eligible patients’ homes, providing high quality clinical care and excellent patient experience, while reducing total Medicare costs.
This legislation is so important because the IAH demonstration project has been successful and deserves to expand. IAH works because:
It is designed to provide appropriate levels of care for a carefully targeted group of the most complex, high-cost beneficiaries;
It requires an interdisciplinary team to provide access to care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and to offer in-home visits within 48 hours of hospital or emergency room discharge, including medication reconciliation;
It prevents unnecessary hospitalizations and misuse of medications and discourages overuse of services with shared savings incentives;
It has rigorous quality standards that assure better patient and family experience and high quality of clinical outcomes;
Is backed by a substantial body of evidence showing that Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC), as applied in the IAH demonstration, enhances quality of care and reduces cost for seriously ill elderly Americans;
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that IAH practices saved over $32 million during the first two performance years while delivering high quality patient care in the home.
In the next 20 years, the number of Americans who are 65 years old or older will nearly double to more than 72 million – one if five Americans. Over two million Americans are living with disability and multiple chronic illnesses. The Independence at Home Act of 2017 will help America prepare for a future where Americans realize the dream of aging gracefully and happily in their own homes and communities, surrounded by their families and loved ones and receiving the best medical care possible.