July 15,2015

Press Contact:

Taylor Harvey (Wyden): 202-224-4515 
Giselle Barry (Markey): 202-224-2742

Wyden, Markey Cheer House Passage of Medicare Independence at Home Act

Bill Extends for Two Years Home Health Care Demonstration That Improves Quality of Care, Brings Down Costs

WASHINGTON –Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., today cheered passage of the Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015 by a voice vote, which extends the demonstration for two years. The bill was approved by the Senate on April 22 by voice vote. The legislation will now go to the President’s desk for signature.

“Independence at Home has shown that providing quality health care to seniors in their home works for beneficiaries, works for health providers, and works for Medicare,” Wyden said. “Given the strong first year results of the demonstration, a two-year extension is a no-brainer. Independence at Home is an important step towards reducing our nation’s inefficient and expensive patchwork of health care delivery systems, and Senator Markey and I will be working hard to ensure more Americans have the dignity and peace of mind that comes with receiving health care at home.”

“The Independence at Home program is steering our health care system toward a focus on quality and not simply the quantity of care, and we are saving millions for Medicare,” Markey said. “All across the country, the program allows teams of doctors and nurses to continue to care for severely ill Medicare patients in the home, bringing the house calls of yesteryear into the 21st century. I thank Senator Wyden for his partnership, and I will continue to work with my colleagues and CMS to make the Independence at Home program permanently accessible to all Medicare beneficiaries and their family caregivers in the future.”

The Independence At Home Demonstration provides chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with primary care services in the home setting. It also offers incentives for providing patients with care options that offer greater independence and quality of life while reducing costs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that Independence at Home participants saved over $25 million in the first performance year, which is an average of $3,070 per participating beneficiary. More information from CMS is available here.

Wyden and Markey have long been champions of the Independence at Home (IAH) approach. The senators worked to get the original Independence at Home demonstration included in the Affordable Care Act. Earlier this year, they introduced the two-year extension, S. 971, with Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.