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Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation Convenes Discussion on Bundled Payment Reforms and the Future of Home and Community Based Care

May 19, 2015
Contact: Emily Adler

Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation Convenes Discussion on Bundled Payment Reforms and the Future of Home and Community Based Care

Capitol Hill briefing underscores need to reform Medicare payment models to improve the delivery of post-acute care for senior and disabled populations

The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation (the Alliance) today hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill bringing together health policy experts to discuss the current state of Medicare post-acute care delivery and what reforms are needed to improve care for America’s aging population.

Experts discussed the merits of new models of care, particularly bundled payments, and the implications they have on the future of skilled home health care and community based care. At the core of delivery system reform is the need to shift Medicare away from its current fee-for-service system and focus on models that instead reward value over volume.

“By bundling payments for post-acute care episodes, providers are able to send patients to the most clinically appropriate and cost-effective setting for treatment,” stated Teresa Lee, Executive Director of the Alliance. “This results in more coordinated and efficient care, improving clinical outcomes for patients and achieving savings for Medicare.”

Panelists also explored several key themes emerging from the Alliance’s recent Institute of Medicine Workshop on the Future of Home Health Care, part of the ongoing Future of Home Health Project, including how payment and policy reforms are critical to achieving the Triple Aim and appropriately optimizing home health care. In implementing new care models such as bundled payment arrangements and accountable care organizations, home health care is poised to support achievement of the Triple Aim of improved patient experience, improved population health and lower per capita cost of care.

Another key theme from the workshop tied to delivery reform is the need to shift care away from the unnecessary use of acute care hospitals and into the home and community. As people live longer, those aging with chronic conditions or aging into disabilities will increase significantly. By moving care into the community, patients and providers alike will be better equipped to intervene before minor health problems become emergency situations, providing care that can reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions.

The culmination of the Future of Home Health Project will be the release a strategic framework for the future of home health care. This framework will improve understanding of how home health care will be used in the future for older Americans and Americans with disabilities, and clarify what key needs should be addressed to achieve better care in this context.

“There is no doubt that the health care landscape is changing as our nation braces itself for a growing influx of older Americans,” added Lee. “Our hope is that the Future of Home Health Project and discussions like the one that took place today will provide a blueprint for understanding the value of home health care and improving this vital care for patients, providers and taxpayers.”