Home-based care gets trial run

August 22, 2012

Does primary care provided at home improve outcomes for chronically ill patients? Practices participating in a new study will help reveal any benefits.

Some of your colleagues are trying to help the government determine whether chronically ill Medicare patients benefit from receiving primary care in their homes via teams led by physicians and nurse practitioners.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says its Independence at Home demonstration project will try to figure out, over a 3-year period, whether primary care practices can provide care effectively to patients who remain in their homes. It also aims to discover whether home care service improves care for Medicare recipients who have more than one chronic condition, keeping them out of the hospital.

CMS says it will use quality measures to track patients’ experiences. As an added bonus, participating practices may receive incentive payments if they meet these quality measures while reducing costs.

CMS announced in April that 16 practices would participate in the Independence at Home demonstration project. Now, three consortia have been added to the program:

  • Innovative Primary Senior Care LLC in Skokie, Illinois;

  • Treasure Coast Healthcare LLC in Stuart, Florida; and

  • Virginia Commonwealth University Health System/Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.

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