Bipartisan bill introduced in Senate would make Independence at Home
permanent benefit for most seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries
July 6, 2016 — Today, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate that could potentially benefit many Medicare patients who suffer from multiple chronic illnesses and functional disabilities. The bill, if passed into law, would make the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration program, which provides a complete range of primary care services in the home setting, a permanent Medicare benefit for seniors who meet the IAH eligibility criteria.
“Today’s action is an important first step toward a defined Medicare benefit which will allow very seriously ill seniors to receive care at home with their families, where they are the most comfortable,” said Shelley Lyford, CEO of West Health and president of the Gary and Mary West Foundation.
America’s population is aging rapidly. Every eight seconds someone turns 65 – a trend that will continue until 2030. West Health’s mission is to enable seniors to successfully age, living life on their own terms with access to high-quality health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence.
West Health joined the American Academy of Home Care Medicine in applauding the bill sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Edward Markey (D-MA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
In the IAH pilot program’s first year, 17 practices successfully cared for more than 8,400 patients in their home with savings totaling more than $25 million – an average of over $3,000 per beneficiary.