PORTLAND, OR—Housecall Providers Inc., a Portland, OR-based nonprofit, has been selected as a demonstration site for the national health care study Independence at Home (IAH).
Independence at Home was developed in response to a growing body of evidence that suggests that many patients with multiple health concerns—especially homebound and elderly patients—enjoy a higher quality of life and make fewer hospital and emergency room visits when they receive medical care in their residence.
Since 1996, Housecall Providers has made over 100,000 medical home visits to patients, most of them medically fragile older adults. All are homebound. With a staff of 70 and growing, Housecall Providers made more than 12,000 medical home visits in 2011 to patients throughout the Portland metropolitan area. Housecall Providers also offers hospice services to its patients.
Oregon’s U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden has been a major proponent of the project and supported Housecall Providers as a demonstration site. “The potential for billions in Medicare savings that Independence at Home offers will only be reached if the best healthcare providers are put in place,” Senator Ron Wyden said. “Housecall Providers is one of Oregon’s premier home-care organizations and I congratulate them for securing a spot in this highly competitive demonstration project. Their participation in IAH means that Portland-area Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get top flight home healthcare from a top flight organization. Their hard work and the example they have set were part of the inspiration for the IAH program and I know that their involvement will go a long way toward its success.”
Demonstration sites such as Housecall Providers will help determine whether a home medical care model can contain escalating health care costs by reducing the number of preventable hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and emergency room visits.
The project, which will begin on June 1st, 2012, will include 10,000 homebound Medicare beneficiaries and targets the 5% of that population that account for more than 43% of Medicare costs. IAH programs are funded entirely from the savings they achieve.
“We are thrilled to be selected as a demonstration site for IAH and to have the opportunity to show the nation what Housecall Providers has been offering Portland’s metropolitan homebound community members since 1996,” said Terri Hobbs, executive director of Housecall Providers. “Our own experience, backed up by data we have collected, shows that our established patients require fewer trips to the hospital and in general enjoy better health at a lower cost than patients who are not seen at home.”
Housecall Providers founder and Medical Director Dr. Benneth Husted praised Sen. Wyden for his role in shaping IAH. “We are very grateful to Senator Wyden for championing Independence at Home into the health care reform law, and to the American Academy of Home Care Medicine for helping to create the concept,” said Dr. Husted. “We believe the demonstration projects are just the beginning of a new model of health care delivery and payment that has the potential to bring costs under control while providing better care to the Medicare population.”
Housecall Providers is a primary care medical practice which offers in-home physician and nurse practitioner services to homebound seniors and persons with disabilities, as well as hospice services. Housecall Providers served more than 1,750 patients in 2011 in private homes, adult foster homes and assisted living facilities.
For more information, visit www.housecallproviders.org.