Reform to Increase Home Care for Medicare

PHILADELPHIA, March 30 (UPI) — One of the provisions of healthcare reform will be in-home services for chronically ill elderly residents, a Philadelphia nurses group says.

Stephen Holt, chief executive officer of the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia, says there are provisions in the healthcare reform bill to encourage the development of new patient care models.

“Two programs in particular will help the rapidly growing population of older patients will chronic illnesses,” Holt says in a statement.

“These programs are aimed at reducing the frequency of hospital re-admissions and treating patients at home.”

The law calls for conducting a demonstration program that utilizes physician and nurse practitioner directed home-based primary care teams. Another provision is to establish a program to improve transitions to Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with chronic illnesses.

The top fiscal problem confronting Medicare is that 25 percent of those suffering from multiple chronic illnesses account for 85 percent of Medicare costs, Holt says.

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