CMS Launches Home Health Care Initiative for Medicare Patients

Home health care is being made available for up to 10,000 Medicare patients through a health care reform law demonstration that seeks to improve care and lower costs for seniors and people with disabilities, announced the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

“This program gives new life to the old practice of house calls, but with 21st Century technology and a team approach,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

The demonstration was developed through the Affordable Care Act, and will expand the scope of in-home services that Medicare beneficiaries can receive; participation is voluntary.


In my days as a practicing nurse, I saw many patients whose health improved when they were happier with their living conditions,” said Tavenner. “When a critically-ill patient can remain in familiar surroundings, the benefits are many: the person retains greater control over their daily lives, families and caregivers report greater satisfaction with the care, and unnecessary hospitalizations are avoided.”

CMS plans to partner with medical practices led by physicians or nurse practitioners to test the effectiveness of delivering primary care services in a home setting on improving care for the needs of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.

Healthcare providers that show a reduction in Medicare expenditures will be rewarded through the demonstration program through incentive payment, if they succeed in providing high-quality care while reducing costs.


CMS will use “quality measures to ensure beneficiaries experience high quality care,” in keeping with its series if initiatives to build a Medicare program that offers beneficiaries “better care and better health at an affordable cost.”

The demonstration will be supported by the CMS innovation Center, which was created by the Affordable Care Act to develop and test new models of health care delivery and payment.

More information on the program can be found here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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