LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE SWEEPING LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE AIMED AT GIVING PATIENTS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS THE OPTION TO RECEIVE CARE AT HOME
Legislation by Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) would significantly move the needle on delivering patients more care in the home
WASHINGTON, Tuesday, April 18, 2023 – Moving Health Home (MHH) is pleased to support the introduction of the bipartisan Expanding Care in the Home Act (ECHA) (H.R. 2853) in the House of Representatives. We applaud Representatives Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) for their leadership on this crucial legislation to remove barriers currently limiting patient access to care in the home, which is often the preferred site of care for patients, caregivers, and providers.
“As we identify opportunities to modernize the care seniors can access, we must consider the convenience and comfort home care offers them,” said Rep. Smith. “The Expanding Care in the Home Act is a commonsense measure to ensure Medicare can process claims for in-home care services, and I’m proud to lead introduction of this important bill.”
“We know people often prefer to receive care in the comfort and security of their own homes, and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of expanding access to health care beyond traditional doctor’s office or hospital settings,” said Rep. Dingell. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation which will help remove barriers to care and increase options for patients to receive critical care in the setting of their choice.”
“Seniors and their caregivers want the option to stay home. It’s better for overall health and recovery,” said Krista Drobac, Founder of Moving Health Home. “The pandemic showed us it is possible, and we need to build on that. We are grateful to Representatives Smith and Dingell for their commitment to modernizing our health care system to meet patients where they want to be.”
“The pandemic has taught us, and polls confirm, that care in the home is preferred by many patients, with increasing demand for at-home options,” Drobac continues. “Not only do home-based models increase access to care in general, they have also demonstrated the ability to successfully reduce costs, improve quality and outcomes, maintain safety comparable to or better than facilities, and address disparities.”
A recent study showed that a bipartisan majority of adults (73 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Republicans) say it should be a priority for the federal government to expand care in the home.
The ECHA would ensure that home-based care is a viable option for patient care and scalable for providers. Specifically, it would:
- Improve the feasibility for primary care doctors to deliver home-based care, bringing house calls back to Medicare beneficiaries.
- Create a personal care services benefit in Medicare to fill the gap for beneficiaries unable to afford to pay out of pocket yet do not qualify for home care services by Medicaid.
- Bolster the accessibility and affordability of home dialysis for kidney patients.
- Increase access to preventative screening by allowing beneficiaries to receive in-home lab testing.
- Fix outdated policies to better enable the delivery of advanced diagnostic imaging in the home.
- Expand access to home infusion services by addressing fragmentation and affordability.
- Build up the next generation of the home-based care workforce, including physicians, nurses, and emergency medical service providers.
If passed, the ECHA would make significant progress in ensuring all Americans can benefit from high-quality, convenient access to care in the home.
What MHH Members Are Saying
“We believe that delivering more care in the home benefits patients, providers, and our population as a whole,” said Chris McCann, CEO and Co-Founder, Current Health. “We support the Expanding Care in the Home Act as a vehicle that will enable a broader set of health care services to be offered in the home. This bill will help facilitate the shift to new care delivery models that we know can move healthcare forward by driving better patient outcomes and lower costs at scale.”
“Right at Home is excited to support the introduction of the Expanding Care in the Home Act,” said Margaret Haynes, President and CEO of Right at Home, a member of Moving Health Home. “Every day, our 385 provider locations across America regularly receive inquiries from seniors and their families asking if Original Medicare pays for assistance with activities of daily living,” she said. “We call for the enactment of this bill which would enable all Medicare beneficiaries to get home care at the times they need it most.”
“There is strong and indisputable evidence that safe and effective care can be delivered in the home environment, even for the acutely ill patient,” said Maulik Majmudar, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Co-Founder of Biofourmis, a global leader in tech-enabled, multi-specialty at-home care delivery. “When we look at improvements in clinical outcomes and cost savings of established care-at-home programs, there is a clear value proposition and positive return on investment, which is driving a healthcare revolution at home. The Expanding Care in the Home Act is essential to ensure that more patients have continued access to the home-based care they so desperately need for acute, post-acute, and chronic conditions. Combining these care models with the right technology platforms will accelerate clinical adoption and scale.”
“The public health emergency revealed several cracks in our healthcare ecosystem, one of the most significant being access – a large population of Americans are limited in their ability to access quality care. Thankfully, we have the privilege of touching many of the nation’s complex patients by bringing healthcare to them at home,” said Kevin Riddleberger, DispatchHealth Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “And not just as a convenience but because it’s the only way for them to receive high acuity care and address their medical needs. I’m hopeful that policymakers will capitalize on the tailwinds of the pandemic to ensure we continue to break down the barriers and give every American access to high-quality healthcare.”
Bill text can be found here.
See a section-by-section here.
For more information, please visit us at movinghealthhome.org