Thanks to the work of a committed staff and a supportive community, our organization experienced a tremendous year of growth and success in 2015.
The news this summer that Housecall Providers was the most successful site in the national Medicare demonstration project, Independence at Home (IAH), catapulted us into the national spotlight as newspapers all across America picked up the story touting our achievements.
On the heels of those results came the good news from Capitol Hill that IAH would be extended for another two years. This will allow the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare the necessary time to be thoughtful and thorough in its implementation process, should home-based medicine become a Medicare benefit. The publicity received has spurred inquiries from healthcare organizations here in Portland and across the U.S. to meet with us to learn more about our model of care.
Last spring, we opened up our hospice to include members of the community who are not our primary care patients. We agreed it was time to expand our services to all in need, another important step toward fulfilling more of our mission in the community. Currently, about 15% of our hospice referrals are coming from outside our primary care program.
Thanks to generous grants from long time community partners Meyer Memorial Trust and The Collins Foundation we launched an “official” home-based palliative care program in October. Although we have practiced palliative medicine throughout our 20-year history, it became apparent that a portion of our patient population needed additional support to supplement their monthly house call, as well as fill the service gap between primary care and hospice. Nearly 30 patients have been enrolled in the program thus far.
This truly has been an incredible year for advocates of home-based medicine! It seems like the pieces are finally falling into place to create a society where all people can have quality primary medical care regardless if they can leave their homes or not. I am excited about what next year holds for Housecall Providers as we continue to identify innovative approaches to providing patient care at the highest level possible. Thank you for being a partner with us on this journey.
I hope you and your family have a safe and joyous holiday season.