New “Independent at Home” Demo Revitalizes the House Call
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would like to reintroduce the concept of the “house call” to modern medicine with a new demonstration project. Under the “Independence at Home Demonstration,” participating practices will provide home-based primary care to targeted chronically ill Medicare patients for a three-year period. In-home visits will be tailored to an individual patient’s needs, and CMS will track beneficiaries’ care experiences through quality measures.
The demonstration will reward health care providers that show a reduction in Medicare expenditures through an incentive payment if they succeed in providing high-quality care while reducing costs. Participation is voluntary, and CMS is accepting applications now. Applications and letters of intent, if applicable, are due by Feb. 6, 2012.
Medical practices eligible to participate in the demonstration must be:
- Led by physicians or nurse practitioners (teams may also include pharmacists, social workers, and other supporting staff)
- Organized to provide primary medical care services
- Experienced at providing home-based primary care to patients with multiple chronic conditions
- Able to care for at least 200 beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions during each year of the demonstration
Up to 50 practices will be selected to participate in the program. Practices in the demonstration will be responsible for coordinating patient care with other health and social service professionals.
Medicare beneficiaries who wish to participate in the demonstration must:
- Have multiple chronic conditions
- Be covered by original, fee-for-service Medicare
- Require someone’s assistance with two or more activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, or walking
- Have had a medically-necessary hospital admission within the last 12 months
- Have received rehabilitation services in the last 12 months
For more information, see the program Fact Sheet.