STAKEHOLDERS URGE CONGRESS TO ENSURE PATIENT ACCESS TO ACUTE CARE AT HOME
48 diverse organizations sent a letter to congressional leadership requesting that a critical home-based care pandemic waiver be extended
WASHINGTON, January 24, 2022 – Today, Moving Health Home (MHH), a coalition of health care organizations advocating for improved access to home-based care, sent a letter to congressional leadership requesting that Congress extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home (AHCAH) waiver. The letter collected signatures from 48 diverse stakeholder organizations, including health systems, home health agencies, value-based care companies, non-profit entities, home infusion groups, and more.
Many seniors needing acute-level care, and their caregivers, have been able to receive services at home during the pandemic. Temporarily extending the AHCAH program will allow for additional data collection and inform lessons learned, as well as provide the necessary time for a legislative process to establish a permanent Acute Care at Home program for Medicare patients.
“Providers and patients are utilizing the waiver flexibilities to bring care into patients’ homes – helping to improve patient and caregiver experiences, increasing facility capacity, and keeping at-risk populations safer in their homes,” said Alison Armstrong, Executive Director of MHH.
Unfortunately, the waiver is set to expire at the end of the public health emergency (PHE) unless Congress acts. While the AHCAH waiver has expanded access to home-based care, the uncertainty on when the waiver will end creates barriers to entry for new participants; health systems and providers have concerns with making significant investments in home-based care models if the program may abruptly end.
Congress has the authority and must take action to extend the AHCAH waiver for two years triggered by the end of the PHE. By extending the waiver for an additional two years, the innovative home-based care delivery models will be able to continue expanding and enhancing their programs and meeting patients’ needs in ways that will never be possible in an institutional setting.
According to a recent study, 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 increase access to care in the home. It is time for Congress to take the steps necessary to ensure home-based care has a place in our future.
To see the full letter, click here or see below.