LAWMAKERS REQUEST SPEEDY IMPLEMENTATION OF HOME CARE DEMO:
The new healthcare reform law (Public Law 111-148) authorized the Independence at Home demonstration program – a program designed to enable Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions to maximize their independence and meet their specific needs by bringing coordinated physician- and nurse practitioner-led primary care teams to their homes. The law will provide a total of $25 million for the demonstration program and sets a 2012 deadline for implementation.
In late June, however, the program’s authors – Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) – wrote to CMS, urging the agency to implement Independence at Home within six months. The two noted that the program should be put in place expeditiously because it has the potential to help chronically-ill Medicare beneficiaries who often receive disjointed and unnecessarily costly care. In addition, the lawmakers noted that the program’s funding will be available beginning this year.
CMS has stated that it is committed to implementing this and other provisions of the new healthcare law as soon as possible.