Choose Home Care Act 2021, S. 2562/H.R. 5514
Home care has long been a safe and effective alternative to care in an institutional setting. Reform of Medicare is overdue to provide viable, extended care services at home for patients who otherwise have only one choice, the Skilled Nursing Facility benefit. The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly shown the limitations and risks of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Beyond the pandemic crisis, extended care at home also makes sense. Nearly 33% of patients who go to SNFs have identical frailty scores to those who receive care at home. The main difference in these patients is that they lack access to extended caregiver services and certain other supplemental health care supports.
The Choose Home Care Act of 2021, S. 2562/H.R. 1544 is a cost-effective and patient preferred home-based extended care benefit as a supplement to the existing home health benefit that supports patients to leave the hospital and recover at home with a mix of expanded skilled nursing, therapy, personal care, telehealth services and more. In this way, eligible patients can choose to recover at home in a safe home environment with appropriate and sufficient care tailored to meet their individual needs and reduced Medicare spending.