CHICAGO, Oct. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Home Care Medicine (AAHCM), the leading professional organization for physicians, nurse practitioners and other providers of home-based primary care (HBPC), today announced the release of a digital toolkit of educational resources to help payers and providers understand how HBPC significantly improves quality and reduces costs for more than two million seriously ill and home-limited older adults. AAHCM made this announcement at its annual meeting in Chicago, which focused on empowering HBPC professionals to "Drive the Change to Value-Based Care."
AAHCM's new research-based educational initiative is part of a national awareness campaign funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation and West Health. It aims to remove barriers to HBPC programs, which provide appropriate primary and palliative care to vulnerable, functionally impaired patients who typically have complex health problems and are unable to visit physicians' offices.
HBPC providers, including independent and hospital-based practices, work as interdisciplinary teams that include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers and nurses. Through preventive care support and timely interventions, they preempt avoidable, high-cost emergency department visits and hospitalizations and give vulnerable, under-served patient's access to continuous care.
Multiple studies have shown that HBPC delivers significant cost savings and improves patient satisfaction; one program cut heart failure readmissions by 50%. As important, HBPC teams improve quality of life for patients and families by caring for them according to their preferences, in their own homes.
"These patients represent about 3 percent to 5 percent of Medicare patients, and HBPC can better support them and their families and also rein in health care costs," said Mindy Fain, Past-President of the AAHCM and Principal Investigator for the project. "The Academy is working with the Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI) and other organizations to help payers and providers integrate this critical type of care into their standard array of benefits and services."
The free toolkit includes a comprehensive set of materials that:
- Explains how HBPC adds value to payers through prevention of avoidable high-cost events while enhancing quality of life for patients and family caregivers;
- Provides examples of successful HBPC programs, including Medicare's Independence at Home (IAH) Demonstration project, that reduce readmissions, Emergency Department visits, and complications;
- Features a video vignette that showcases how receiving medical care in the home improves individuals' health and well-being.
"We would like to thank The John A. Hartford Foundation for their support of this vital work. By providing this information to payers, we hope to increase their use of HBPC and implement value-based payment for home care medicine providers," said Dr. Eric DeJonge, President of AAHCM. "These efforts will enable the fast-growing population of home-limited older adults with serious chronic illness to maintain their health and dignity."
"Leaving the home is a struggle for millions of older adults every day, putting them at risk for poor health outcomes and high health care costs. But we have a solution in home-based primary care," said Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of The John A. Hartford Foundation. "By offering education on the value of interdisciplinary team care in the home, AAHCM is expanding its availability and ensuring its sustainability as an integral part of the age-friendly health systems we all need and deserve."
Since 1987, AAHCM has served the needs of professionals dedicated to improving care of patients in the home. AAHCM programs provide education and networking opportunities for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers and other health professionals to address the unique needs of patients with serious chronic illness and disability. AAHCM is committed to delivery of interdisciplinary, high-value health care to all patients in need.
About The John A. Hartford Foundation
The John A. Hartford Foundation, based in New York City, is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. The leader in the field of aging and health, the Foundation has three areas of emphasis: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care. For more information visit johnahartford.org and follow @johnahartford.
About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs and enabling seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.
About Moving and Scaling Home-Based Medical Care into the Mainstream of U.S. Healthcare
The AAHCM educational initiative, Building Awareness and Engaging Payers to Bring Home-Based Primary Care into the Mainstream, is part of the Moving and Scaling Home-Based Medical Care into the Mainstream of U.S. Healthcare project, funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation and West Health. The other two components are:
- Implementation of a National Learning Collaborative to Enhance Home-Based Medical Care Quality of Care, which is being done by teams at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and University of California, San Francisco, and
- The National Home Care Medicine Education & Expansion Initiative: Multi-Modal Curriculum which is being conducted by the Home Centered Care Institute.
The overall grant focuses on 1) disseminating information to payers that demonstrates how home-based primary care is a cost-effective solution for improving outcomes, care, and quality of life for the frail and elderly, and 2) as training clinicians in measuring and tracking the quality of care in home-based primary care.
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SOURCE American Academy of Home Care Medicine