February 19,2019

Press Contact:

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

Wyden, Markey Laud Independence at Home Savings for Taxpayers

CMS Demonstration Continues to Save Medicare Thousands per Beneficiary in Third Year

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass., today celebrated new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) showing strong third year results from the Independence at Home Demonstration, which provides primary care services to Medicare beneficiaries in their homes.

“Now in its third year, Independence at Home continues to show great promise for American seniors who want care in the comfort of their home,” Wyden said. “The numbers don’t lie – care at home lowers health care costs by avoiding costly hospital care and provides quality health care to seniors with chronic illnesses. That’s a win-win proposition, and I will push for Independence at Home to continue so the program can realize its full potential and be available to all seniors who need it in the future.”

“Independence at Home is putting health care in the comfort of a patient’s living room instead of the emergency rooms and is showing great potential for savings,” Markey said. “Care for patients suffering from diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is improving and taxpayers are saving money when emerging health problems are caught early. I thank Senator Wyden for his continued partnership on this program and we will continue to work to make it a permanent program for those who need it most.”

CMS found that Independence at Home practices saved over $16.3 million in the third performance year, which is an average of $1,431 per participating beneficiary. More information from CMS is available here.

IAH uses primary care teams providing care in the home to improve health outcomes and reduce expenditures for Medicare beneficiaries living with multiple chronic conditions. While providing high quality, consistent care is the top priority, health care providers whose expenditures are less than a target amount are eligible for bonus payments as long as they meet quality of care standards.

Independence at Home was included as a demonstration project in the Affordable Care Act by Wyden and Markey. In 2018, Congress passed a two-year extension and expansion of the demonstration, which will run through 2020 under current law.