THOMPSON’S BILL TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES, SAVE MEDICARE DOLLARS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson’s (D-CA) bipartisan legislation to improve health care service and access to Medicare beneficiaries, and save tax dollars today passed the House and will go to the President to be signed into law. The legislation, titled the Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2196/S. 971) extends the Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Program (IAH) for two years. IAH is a voluntary, home-based primary care service offered to Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions. Through this program, doctors provide primary care services to high-need Medicare patients in their own home. Thompson introduced the bill with Reps. Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) and Peter J. Roskam (R-IL).
“The IAH demonstration improves access, quality of care, and quality of life for our most ill Medicare patients while saving taxpayer dollars,” said Thompson. “It’s an important program that works and this bipartisan bill will make sure seniors are able to keep taking advantage of it.”
IAH requires that those who use the program demonstrate annual savings, improved outcomes, and patient and family caregiver satisfaction. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is charged with assessing whether delivery of the in-home care at home improves services for Medicare beneficiaries and increases patient satisfaction.
"IAH allows me as an osteopathic physician as well as other health care providers to assess patients in their homes in order to gain a better understanding of the patient’s overall condition and well-being, avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations, ER visits, or nursing home use," said Dr. Norm Vinn, D.O., Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Housecall Doctors Medical Group in Laguna Hills. Vinn is a nationally recognized leader on integrated care coordination and past president of the American Osteopathic Association. "Most importantly, IAH allows these most frail Medicare beneficiaries to remain safely at home where they are most comfortable," Vinn said.
Since its implementation three years ago, IAH has proven to help patients avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, ER visits, and nursing home use.
Last month, CMS announced that the program saved more than $25 million- an average of $3,070 per beneficiary- in its first performance year.
Thompson’s bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the American Osteopathic Association, the National Coalition of Health Care and the Independence at Home Coalition, which includes national medical societies and patient advocacy organizations such as AARP, the American Nurses Association, and The American Academy of Home Care Physicians.
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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