WASHINGTON, July 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Compassion & Choices praised today's introduction of bipartisan legislation to convert the Affordable Care Act's home care pilot program into a permanent, national Medicare program.
The Independence at Home program enables patients with many debilitating diseases to get high-quality, primary care at home from coordinated teams of doctors, caregivers and other healthcare professionals, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions.
Sponsored by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), other supporters of the Independence at Home Act of 2016 (S. 3130), include the American Academy of Home Care Medicine, Alzheimer's Association and Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving.
"Independence at Home keeps consumers firmly in control of their care and aligns it with their values," said Mark Dann, federal affairs director for Compassion & Choices, the nation's largest nonprofit advocating for expanding end-of-life care options. "A great benefit of providing care in a person's home is advance care planning conversations seem to happen naturally, more often and can be updated as their illness progresses and their care wishes change. If an individual ends up in the hospital, but did not want to be there, the whole team is aware of these wishes and can attempt to quickly correct the situation."
The strengths of the Independence at Home Act include:
- The eligible population that begins to receive the comprehensive services would include those with serious advanced illness, and many who are less seriously ill, whose care plans can be updated as their condition deteriorates into serious advanced illness.
- Interprofessional primary care teams would be eligible to provide comprehensive home based services to individuals with multiple chronic diseases.
- The primary care, in-home focus facilitates continuous long term relationships based on a plan of care organized to meet the beneficiary's chronic care needs.
- Practices would be accountable for meeting quality standards every year. Less stringent requirements apply to the practices for cost-reduction.
Upon passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Independence at Home pilot:
- Established a voluntary patient-centered, pilot program in 13 Independent Practices and one Consortium;
- Utilized a coordinated health care delivery model to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions who also need help with the activities of daily living can remain independent for as long as possible in the comfort of their own homes;
- Coordinated the care of these patients and reducing duplicative and unnecessary services, preventing hospitalizations;
- Developed a new, attractive career path for primary care physicians by enabling them to lead IAH organizations and receive reimbursement for house calls.
More information about the Independence at Home program and CMS's program evaluation can he found HERE.
Compassion & Choices is the nation's oldest, largest and most active nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life. It has 450,000 members nationwide. For more information, visit: CompassionAndChoices.org.
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Sean Crowley, 202-495.8520-c, email@example.com
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SOURCE Compassion & Choices