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IOM Releases Workshop Summary Focusing on Home Health Care’s Role in the Future of Health Care Delivery

March 18, 2015
Contact: Emily Adler

IOM Releases Workshop Summary Focusing on Home Health Care’s Role in the Future of Health Care Delivery

Alternative care models and innovative payment approaches cited as shaping the role home health care will play in addressing care needs of aging population

Washington, DC – The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) today applauded the release of The Future of Home Health Care Workshop Summary compiled by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC). The summary captures the key themes and points discussed during a fall 2014 workshop that was hosted by the IOM-NRC Forum on Aging, Disability and Independence and sponsored in part by the Alliance. The Alliance’s sponsorship of the workshop was the second phase in the Alliance’s Future of Home Health Project, which began with the issuance of a white paper on the Future of Home Health Project and a Capitol Hill briefing in May. The project will culminate with a strategic framework for the future of home health care within the next year.

Over the course of two days the IOM-NRC workshop explored various aspects of home health care, including new models of care, payment approaches, the health care workforce, and innovations in technology. A broad spectrum of stakeholders from government, academia, industry, philanthropy, and consumer groups explored in-depth how home health care currently contributes to the health care system, and what challenges it will face as the Medicare population rapidly expands in the coming years.

The Workshop Summary notes "individuals with disabilities, chronic conditions, and functional impairments need a range of services and supports to keep living independently…Home health agencies and others are rising to the challenges of meeting the needs and demands of these populations to stay at home by exploring alternative models of care and payment approaches, the best use of their workforces, and technologies that can enhance independent living."

As reflected in the Workshop Summary, Eric Dishman, Fellow and General Manager of Health & Life Sciences at Intel Corporation, delivered a keynote address and stated, “In the future, the health care system will not be sustainable…unless it first has an information system, a reward system, and a model of care that takes into account…community-based care, with the home—and probably the workplace—being key nodes.” He challenged workshop participants to, “think about the workforce and business models that will be needed so that home- and community-based health care can become the default and hospital-based care—according to the mainframe model—becomes the exception.”

Speakers at the workshop presented and participants discussed a variety of new and emerging care models that are leveraging home health care, and thereby achieving cost savings and improved quality of care. These models include home-based primary care (and independence-at-home), bundled payment arrangements, accountable care organizations, and advanced illness management. Many of these models are targeting high-risk patients who benefit from home health care interventions that are improving care coordination and gearing care toward person-centered goals.

“This summary highlights important themes and ideas raised by a broad spectrum of stakeholders on what steps are needed to move the U.S. health care system toward the Triple Aim of improved patient experience, improved population health and lower per capita cost of care,” said Teresa Lee, Executive Director of the Alliance. “These stakeholders focused on the need to move the health care system towards home and community-based care and to accomplish this, we will need to invest in and strengthen home health care to play a growing role for patients and the health care system.”

“Consistent with the themes of the workshop, the Alliance plans to develop an overarching framework for how home and community-based care should be organized in the future to serve the growing number of older Americans and those with disabilities,” added Lee. “We will identify key needs that the country will need to address in order to appropriately optimize home and community-based care and achieve the Triple Aim.”

To download the full IOM/NRC Workshop Summary, click here.