Affordable Care Act Payment Model Continues to Improve Care, Lower Costs

The Independence at Home Demonstration continues to provide high quality primary care services for chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries in the home setting while saving the Medicare program money, according to a new analysis released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“The Independence at Home Demonstration is a patient-centered model that supports providers in caring for chronically ill patients in their own homes,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS acting deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “These results continue to support what most patients already want – the ability to have high quality care in the home setting”.

The CMS analysis found that, for the second performance year, Independence at Home participants saved Medicare more than $10 million – an average of $1,010 per beneficiary – while delivering higher quality patient care in the home. CMS will award incentive payments of $5.7 million to seven participating practices that succeeded in reducing spending while improving quality.

In the second performance year, 15 practices served more than 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries. According to the CMS analysis, all 15 practices improved quality from the first performance year in at least two of the six quality measures for the Demonstration. Four practices met the performance measures for all six quality measures.

These quality results mean improved care for Medicare beneficiaries who are participating in Independence at Home practices. On average, beneficiaries:

  • Have follow-up contact from their provider within 48 hours of a hospital admission, hospital discharge, or emergency room visit;
  • Have fewer hospital readmissions within 30 days;
  • Have their medication identified by their provider within 48 hours of discharge from the hospital;
  • Have their preferences documented by their provider;
  • Use inpatient hospital and emergency room services less for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, pneumonia, or urinary tract infection.
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