CMS Announces Savings in First Year of Home Care Demonstration

Participants in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s Independence at Home demonstration saved more than $25 million in the payment model’s first performance year while delivering high-quality patient care in the home, CMS recently announced.

The three-year demonstration project, which provides chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with primary care services in the home setting, is part of the innovative framework established by the Affordable Care Act. CMS will award incentive payments of $11.7 million to nine participating primary care physician or nurse practitioner-led practices that succeed in reducing Medicare expenditures and meeting designated quality goals for the first year of the demonstration.

A CMS analysis of the demonstration found that the savings achieved in the first performance year equate to an average of $3,070 per participating beneficiary. Further, CMS found that all 17 practices participating in the demonstration improved quality in at least three of the six quality measures for the demonstration, while four practices met all six measures.

The 17 practices, which are composed of single practices and a consortium of multiple primary care practices within a geographic area, served more than 8,400 Medicare beneficiaries in the first year. A CMS analysis found those beneficiaries on average have fewer hospital readmissions within 30 days and use inpatient hospital and emergency department services less for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, pneumonia or urinary tract infection.