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Bill to Make Home Medicare Program Permanent Praised

Affordable Care Act pilot program delivers primary care services to patients with many chronic conditions

(Washington, D.C. – July 6, 2016) Compassion & Choices praised today’s introduction of bipartisan legislation to convert the Affordable Care Act’s home care pilot program into a permanent, national Medicare program.

The Independence at Home program enables patients with many debilitating diseases to get high-quality, primary care at home from coordinated teams of doctors, family caregivers and other healthcare professionals, reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and avoidable hospitalizations and readmissions.

Sponsored by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), other supporters of the Independence at Home Act of 2016 (S. 3130), include the American Academy of Home Care Medicine, Alzheimer’s Association and Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving.

“Independence at Home keeps consumers firmly in control of their care and aligns it with their values,” said Mark Dann, federal affairs director for Compassion & Choices, the nation’s largest nonprofit advocating for expanding end-of-life care options. “A great benefit of providing care in a person’s home is advance care planning conversations seem to happen naturally, more often and can be updated as their illness progresses and their care wishes change. If an individual ends up in the hospital, but did not want to be there, the whole team is aware of these wishes and can attempt to quickly correct the situation.”

The strengths of the Independence at Home Act include:

Upon passage of the Affordable Care Act, Independence at Home:

More information about the Independence at Home program and CMS’s program evaluation can be found HERE.

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Compassion & Choices is the nation’s oldest, largest and most active nonprofit working to improve care and expand options for the end of life. It has 450,000 members nationwide. For more information, visit: CompassionAndChoices.org.