MedStar Washington Hospital Center Program Aims to Reduce Medicare Costs

June 25, 2015

The Medical House Call Program Focuses on Providing High-Quality Care to Chronically Ill Elders in Their Home

K. Eric De Jonge, MD, co-founder of the Medical House Call program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

(Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 25, 2015) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced positive and promising results from the first performance year of the Independence at Home Demonstration, including both higher quality care and lower Medicare expenditures.   

It’s an effective model of care, treating frail, elderly patients in their home. Frail elders who need home-based primary care represent only five percent of the patient population, yet account for nearly 50 percent of Medicares budget.

The Medical House Call program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is part of this program, focusing on providing high-quality care to chronically ill elders in their home and reducing Medicare costs.

As an Independent at Home practice, beneficiaries of the Medical House Call program, on average:

•Have fewer hospital readmissions within 30 days;

•Have follow-up contact from their provider within 48 hours of a hospital admission;

•Have their medications identified by their provider within 48 hours of discharge from the hospital;

•Have their preferences documented by their provider; and

•Use inpatient hospital and emergency department services less for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, pneumonia and urinary tract infection.

As part of a Mid-Atlantic Consortium (MAC), MedStar Washington Hospital Center will share in a $1.8 million payment from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The government is rewarding participating practices that succeeded in reducing Medicare expenditures and met quality goals by allowing them to share in the savings. The MAC met all six quality measures and reduced per capita Medicare costs by 20 percent.

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