Industry leaders are celebrating the introduction of the Choose Home Care Act of 2021. The legislation proposes a new add-on to the Medicare Home Health benefit that would allow extended care services for eligible Medicare patients following discharge from the hospital.
Services could include skilled nursing, therapy, primary care, personal care, continuous remote patient monitoring, meals, home adaptations and non-emergent transportation in the home setting instead of in a skilled nursing facility or other institutional settings, according to a news release from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare (PQHH).
An economic analysis commissioned by PQHH suggests the Choose Home model would generate as much as $247 million in savings annually in avoided skilled nursing facility stays.
“The Choose Home Care Act represents a tremendous step forward for Medicare beneficiaries who would prefer to recover at home but have been previously prevented from doing so under current policy restrictions,” said NAHC President Bill Dombi. “Given the many benefits of accessing healthcare and support services at home, as well as the importance of protecting vulnerable patients from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, this must-pass legislation would go a long way to improve seniors’ health in a safe, cost-effective way.”
The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, and Todd Young, R-Indiana. Co-sponsors on the bill include Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland; Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire; James Lankford, R-Oklahoma; and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming.