Medicare saves $10M in second year of home health demonstration project

Building on the success of its inaugural year, a value-based home health project saved Medicare more than $10 million in its second year by improving in-home care coordination for elderly patients, according to an announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Last year, CMS announced its Independence at Home Demonstration had saved $25 million in 2014 by tailoring home care to each beneficiary's needs. Through the demonstration project, CMS rewards providers that reduce beneficiary spending and meet six quality metrics aimed at reducing readmissions, emergency room visits, inpatient hospital stays and medication errors.

According to a CMS fact sheet, 15 providers enrolled in the Independence at Home initiative saved an average of $1,010 per Medicare beneficiary in the project’s second year, triggering $5.7 million in incentive payments for seven providers that fell below 2015 spending targets.

“These results continue to support what most patients already want--the ability to have high quality care in the home setting,” Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for CMS, said in the announcement.

Last month, lawmakers took note of the program’s success and introduced a new bill to the Senate that would expand the three-year initiative into a permanent national program.

- read the CMS announcement

- here's the fact sheet