For the sickest patients, Medicare tests home-based primary care in Portland

June 1, 2012

 By Joe Rojas-Burke, The Oregonian The Oregonian logo

In a given year, 10 percent of the people covered by Medicare account for nearly 60 percent of spending. A pilot project starting today in Portland aims to show that providing home-based primary care to Medicare patients with multiple chronic conditions can improve their health – and save money. 
Housecall Providers, a Portland-based nonprofit, is one of 16 medical groups chosen from more than 130 applicants to participate in the Independence at Home demonstration. 
“There is a potential here to save billions of dollars,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, who pushed to make the demonstration project part of the federal Affordable Care Act. 
If such savings are possible, they will take years to accrue. The demonstration, which continues until May 31, 2015, limits enrollment to about 10,000 Medicare beneficiaries. To qualify, the patient must have multiple chronic diseases and disabilities and have been hospitalized and received rehabilitation services within the past 12 months. See the full story here.

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