The Acute Hospital Care at Home program is an expansion of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Without Walls program. Launched in March 2020, the Hospital Without Walls initiative was part of a comprehensive effort to increase hospital capacity, maximize resources, and combat COVID-19 to keep Americans safe. The program also allowed additional flexibility that allowed certain health care services to be provided outside of a traditional hospital setting and within a patient’s home.
In November 2020, CMS utilized its COVID-19 flexibility authority to launch the Acute Hospital Care at Home (Hospital at Home) program, an expansion of the Hospital Without Walls effort, provided hospitals with unprecedented regulatory flexibilities to treat eligible patients in their homes. The program differentiated the delivery of acute hospital care at home from more traditional home health services. The Hospital at Home waiver program was developed to be only available during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In March 2022, Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tim Scott (R-SC) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) introduced the Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act (S. 3792/H.R. 7053), which would establish a two-year extension of the Acute Hospital at Care at Home COVID-19 waiver triggered by the end of the public health emergency. Find more information here.
On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 2716), which included the two-year extension of the Acute Hospital Care at Home individual waiver.