Home medical visits, or the house call, appear to represent at least a partial solution to controlling escalating health care costs for America’s costliest patients.
The first year’s results of a three-year study created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act strongly suggest that medical providers who include house calls to homebound Medicare patients in the practice can hold down the cost of care without sacrificing quality.
The study, Independence At Home, is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The first three years were completed this spring, but CMS only released results for year one.
Congress is expected to extend the project due to its overwhelming success, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said Thursday. Wyden was one of the co-sponsors of the study.
Overall, the 17 medical care sites that participated in the study saved more than $25 million compared to a control group of Medicare patients. If the savings were projected over the entire Medicare population, the savings would run into the billions, based on the study results.