Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Make Independence at Home Permanent Program
Cost Savings and Improved Quality of Care are Hallmarks of Medicare Demonstration Project
CHICAGO- The American Academy of Home Care Medicine (AAHCM) applauds the introduction of the Independence at Home (IAH) Act that would convert the highly successful IAH demonstration project to a nationwide program.
This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Ed Markey (MA), Rob Portman (OH), Michael Bennet (CO), and John Cornyn (TX), would extend service of home-based primary care services to all chronically ill and disabled elders who need it.
AAHCM is a leading advocate for the IAH model, which involves mobile teams that provide coordinated primary care and social services in the home for elders with severe chronic illness and disability.
“IAH successfully fills a critical gap in health care for our frail and elderly that few programs have been able to achieve,” said Dr. Mindy Fain, President of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine. “It improves patient satisfaction and health outcomes, while simultaneously saving money. We are delighted that a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has introduced this legislation.”
The IAH team model has rigorous quality measures, provides a better patient and family experience by enhancing dignity and independence at home, and reduces total Medicare costs.
IAH has shown that home-based primary care substantially reduces overall Medicare costs. CMS collects the first 5% of savings and distributes further savings to programs that meet major quality measures and save more than 5%. IAH has saved over $32 million in the first 2 years of the demonstration. Evaluation of years 3 through 5 of the demonstration is now underway and is expected to reflect tens of millions more dollars in savings for the Medicare program, in addition to improved care.
Key Points of the Independence at Home (IAH) legislation
• Shift from a small demonstration of 17 practices to nationwide Medicare implementation
• Benefit up to two million high-cost Medicare beneficiaries with severe chronic illness and disability
• Provide home-based primary care with a financially sound model for growth
For more information about IAH, please visit the AAHCM website at www.aahcm.org