As a board member for the non-profit Housecall Providers Inc. ("HPI") in Portland, Oregon, I recently had the good fortune to meet with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden when he was meeting with the organization to discuss the Independence at Home Act ("IAH").
HPI is living proof how in-home primary care can deflect ever growing medical costs. As HPI explains, "In-home medical care allows for proactive management of chronic health conditions that would otherwise result in costly emergency care and hospital admissions."
The federal governement is finally catching up with this non-profit, as IAH launches a new chronic care coordination benefit in a three-year demonstration project for primary in-home care of Medicare beneficiaries who have difficulty getting to and from a physician’s office – which HPI has been successfully providing for 18 years.
The statistics evidence the need for such a program when Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic illnesses:
- see an average of 13 different physicians
- fill 50 different prescriptions a year
- account for 76% of all hospital admissions
- account for 88% of all prescriptions filled
- account for 72% of physician visits
- are 100 times more likely to have a preventable hospitalization than someone with no chronic conditions
It will be interesting to see how this new federal program develops. Hopefully they learn from the efforts of the good people at HPI.