In 2012, Doctors Making Housecalls was honored to be one of just 16 medical practices nationwide to participate in a groundbreaking Medicare demonstration program — Independence At Home (“IAH”). The demonstration seeks to determine if Medicare can reduce costs and improve outcomes for the highest risk Medicare patients who lack access to a physician or transportation to and from a doctor’s appointment.
Prior to the launch of the Independence at Home program, too many patients called EMS and made trips to the emergency room or hospital that might have been preventable. Upon release, these same patients who still lacked access to home-based primary care, found themselves caught in the same cycle of unforeseen illness, a call to EMS, an unnecessary trip to the hospital and a costly admission or readmission.
The DMHC care model breaks the cycle and drives better outcomes.
Among the 16 practices that participated in IAH, Doctors Making Housecalls has proven most successful at reducing unnecessary expenditures on emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and in bringing down 30-day hospital readmissions. And, we were the only practice to succeed in all six of the program’s demanding quality of care measures.
The ultimate finding was that by keeping more patients at home and/or onsite in a senior resident facility rather than admitting them to a tertiary care facility, we have been better able to keep them healthy.
Participants of the Independence at Home initiative are experiencing better care and improved health and have fewer hospital admissions, better discharge and medication compliance and are more able to rely on their home-based primary care doctor for help managing complex chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD, asthma and infection.
5% of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions account for 50% of Medicare’s costs. The IAH Demonstration, a key initiative of the Affordable Care Act, has proven to be overwhelmingly successful in reducing those expenses and their burden on the US healthcare system. In its first performance year alone, the project lowered costs by $25 million (or $3,070 per Medicare beneficiary).