Pennsylvania Praised for Supporting Efforts to Home Care Access

The Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare today thanked Pennsylvania lawmakers for supporting access to coordinated home-based care. 

The bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators requested that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extend the grants provided in the Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration (MCCD) beyond its current expiration date of June 2013.

The program, which began in 2001, gained praise from Senators Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R ) and Representatives Mike Fitzpatrick (R ) and Allyson Schwartz (D), all of whom pointed to the success of Health Quality Partners (HQP) of Doylestown, Penn., which used one of the original 15 MCCD grants to reduce Medicare costs by 28%.

The HQP house call program delivers in-home care to the state’s senior population. The program has also been effective in preventing hospitalizations and managing individuals’ chronic conditions through direct patient interaction with trained nurses in the home setting.

To be eligible for the program, enrollees must have at least one chronic illness and one hospitalization in the past year. 

“There are many parallels between the Health Quality Partners success story and the Medicare home health benefit,” said Chairman Billy Tauzin, senior counsel to the Partnership. 

Home health is widely recognized as clinically advanced, cost-effective and patient preferred, as therapies that were once confined to a hospital or other institutional setting can now be administered in a patient’s home, according to the Partnership.

“By calling for an extension of the MCCD initiative, Pennsylvania lawmakers are paving the way for the use of more coordinated home healthcare,” said Tauzin. “This HQP program illustrates the value home health has in improving care for America’s seniors while also reducing unnecessary healthcare spending.”

Written by Jason Oliva

Jason Oliva

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