On August 9, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new analysis demonstrating that 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. The Independence at Home Demonstration is a patient-centered model that supports providers in caring for chronically ill patients in their own homes.
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 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.
The Independence at Home Demonstration is part of the Administration’s broader strategy to improve the health care system by paying practitioners for what works, unlocking health care data, and finding new ways to coordinate and integrate care to improve quality. In March 2016, the Administration announced it reached its goal, nearly one year ahead of schedule, of tying 30 percent of Medicare payments to alternative payment models that reward the quality of care over the quantity of services provided to beneficiaries.
For more information on the Independence at Home Demonstration performance year two results, including individual practice results, click here.