Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06), a members of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, released the following statement after President Obama signed into law legislation he co-authored with Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX). The Medicare Independence at Home Medical Practice Demonstration Improvement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2196/S. 971) extends the Independence at Home (IAH) Medical Practice Demonstration Program for two years, preventing a lapse in care for beneficiaries and the loss of savings generated for the Medicare program.
"This successful effort to extend a critical demonstration program that offers patients at-home primary care services is a testament to how just one American can make a difference," said Congressman Roskam. "My constituent, Dr. Thomas Cornwell, who has long been a champion for bringing primary care to seniors in the comfort of their own homes, brought this important program to my attention and inspired me to advance this legislation. In fact, since founding his homecare practice in 1997, Dr. Cornwell has personally made over 30,000 house calls. These services save taxpayer dollars and ensure Americans have convenient access to the care they need. I want to thank Congressman Burgess for leading this effort in the House, and Dr. Cornwell for his tireless commitment to this important cause."
"We are so grateful to Rep. Roskam and Dr. Burgess for championing this bill in the House. This two year extension of the IAH demonstration is an important first step in advancing this proven model to provide better, more cost-effective health care to homebound Medicare patients," said Dr. Thomas Cornwell, Founder of HomeCare Physicians in Wheaton, Illinois and President of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine. "IAH holds the promise of even more significant cost savings to the federal government if it is converted from a demonstration to a permanent option within the Medicare program. IAH could benefit nearly two million more Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, the fastest growing segment of the Medicare population. Making IAH accessible to more people is the logical next step and the right thing to do for Medicare beneficiaries."
The Independence at Home demonstration provides home-based care to the five percent of Medicare enrollees with two or more chronic conditions who account for more than 50 percent of all Medicare costs. Of the 34 Medicare home care demonstrations over the past 20 years, IAH is decidedly different, requiring that doctors meet fiscally responsible conditions of participation--doctors must return a minimum annual savings of five percent to Medicare, produce good outcomes, and pass patient and caregiver satisfaction ratings. In this way, IAH focuses on reducing costs where they are the highest and improving care for those with the greatest need, all while protecting the viability of Medicare.