With all the uncertainty surrounding our health care system, we are more committed than ever to providing home-based medicine to those who need it most. Your investment in our mission is critical as we work to build a sustainable model of care.
While we are serving more primary care patients now than we ever have in our 23-year history, we struggle to find an answer to a question that has eluded us since our beginning: “How do we continue serving the volume of patients who have Original Medicare, or as it is better known, fee-for-service Medicare?”
We have worked hard to help our insurance industry partners understand the value we offer their members by improving quality outcomes, and their reimbursement rates reflect this. Unfortunately, this is not the case when the federal government is the payer.
When we serve fee-for-service Medicare patients, the federal government’s shortfall for an in-home primary care house call remains about half of what it costs us to deliver that care.
With more than 600 fee-for-service patients in our primary care program, this gap in funding undermines our ability to care for all of our vulnerable community members who need our services.
Many hopes were placed on the Medicare demonstration project Independence at Home (IAH), that it would solve this perpetual issue for home-based practices across America. The reality, however, is that we have not seen its potential realized. I tell you this so that you, our partners and stakeholders, understand our daily challenge, but most importantly, to emphasize our steadfast commitment to continue to serve all individuals who are homebound regardless of their insurance. Despite barriers, we know we are on track to sustainability. The community believes in our mission and has walked with us through every stage of our development, and our staff continues to do whatever is necessary to make that next house call.
Walking with us can take many forms. Perhaps the most inspirational are the letters and support we receive through our Gifts of Gratitude program. Another way is supporting events like this fall’s Music on Tap. And finally, the grants we receive from local and national foundations who believe in and support the intrinsic value of our work are critical to our livelihood.
All of us at Housecall Providers believe we can reach our goal, but we need our community to support and believe in that goal, too. When you receive our holiday appeal next month, we hope that you will consider supporting us, perhaps for the first time or renewing your investment. That support will help us continue to be at the doorstep of those who need us today, and those who will need us in the days, weeks and years to come.