WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition to Promote Independence in Medicare, a group of 15 leading health organizations, today endorsed the bipartisan "Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act of 2017," aimed at helping seniors avoid institutionalization, and urged House leaders to include it in a year-end Medicare package.
H.R 4006, sponsored by U.S. Representatives Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Pat Meehan (R-PA), Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), would create a Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan (CBI-SNP) Demonstration to help frail, low-income Medicare beneficiaries remain in their homes and avoid costly nursing home care that frequently leads to impoverishment. Such early intervention could potentially save Medicare and Medicaid millions of dollars in the long run, the Coalition said.
"The CBI-SNP demonstration will make life better for frail seniors and their families," Coalition members wrote to the Chairmen and Ranking members of the two House Committees with jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid. "It will also provide policymakers with evidence to support an alternative payment methodology that could re-shape the financing of long term care."
The legislation targets home and community-based services to Medicare beneficiaries with incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. To be eligible, beneficiaries must have two or more activities of daily living limitations such as the inability to bathe, feed, or dress themselves.
"The additional help this legislation would provide would enable these beneficiaries to remain in their homes, where studies show they want to remain," stated Coalition members. "It would help them avoid institutionalization, where they risk spending down their dwindling assets and becoming dependent on Medicaid."
The Coalition stated that, if passed, the CBI-SNP demonstration would reduce Medicaid long-term care costs, Medicare acute care costs as well as personal long-term care costs for beneficiaries.
With changes to Medicare Advantage on Congress' end-of year work list, the Coalition letter concluded: "We urge you to include the CBI-SNP demonstration provision as you continue to work towards bipartisan Medicare reform."
About the Coalition to Promote Independence in Medicare
The Coalition to Promote Independence in Medicare includes several not-for-profit Medicare Advantage health plans with extensive experience in caring for frail, chronically-ill populations. It also includes a number of national provider groups, service organizations and healthcare coalitions representing hundreds of millions of patients, providers, and families. The following organizations make up the Coalition to Promote Independence in Medicare: ArchCare, CAPG, Care Wisconsin, Commonwealth Care Alliance, Express Scripts, Health Partners, Healthcare Leadership Council, LeadingAge, Maxim Healthcare Services, the National Coalition on Health Care, the Population Health Alliance, SCAN Health Plan, the SNP Alliance, UPMC and ElevatingHOME.
SOURCE The Coalition to Promote Independence in Medicare