According to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), over $25 million was saved during the first performance year of the Independence at Home Demonstration. The Demonstration was established as part of the Affordable Care Act and tested the effectiveness of delivering comprehensive primary care services to chronically ill Medicare patients in home settings and included 17 practices serving over 8,400 patients. CMS stated that the Independence at Home Demonstration would allow health care providers to spend more time with their patients, perform assessments in home environments, and assume greater accountability for all aspects of the patient’s care. The Demonstration was to focus on timely and appropriate care and improving overall quality of care and quality of life for patients served, while lowering health care costs by forestalling the need for care in institutional settings. And it appears that it has done just that.
Independence at Home participants saved an average of $3,070 per participant and $25 million overall. CMS will be awarding incentive payments of $11.7 million to nine of the participating practices that succeeded in reducing Medicare. According to CMS, all 17 participating practices improved quality in at least three of the six quality and four practices met all six quality measures.
Medicare patients who are participating had fewer hospital readmissions within 30 days, received follow-up contact from their provider within 48 hours of a hospital admission / discharge / ER visit, and used inpatient hospital and emergency department services less for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, pneumonia, or urinary tract infection.
Earlier this year CMS announced the ambitious goal of tying 30 percent of Medicare payments to quality and value through alternative payment models by 2016 and 50 percent of payments by 2018.
Popular Practice Management software and EMR software such as Medisoft, Lytec by McKesson and Prime Suite by Greenway are some of the names that help practices used to reduce the cost of healthcare. Some others practices utilized Revenue Cycle Management provided by billing services.