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For Immediate Release – March 20, 2024   Contact: Taylor Hulsey – 202.225.5015 


ICYMI: Buchanan, Castor Introduce Bill to Expand Hospital-at-Home Care, Lower Costs for Patients

 Builds off Widely Successful Hospital-at-Home Initiative

  Program Found to Lower Costs by One-Third, Reduce Complications  


WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Vern Buchanan, Vice Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Chairman of the Health Subcommittee, and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the At Home Observation and Medical Evaluation (HOME) Services Act to implement a pilot program to expand the scope of hospital-at-home care in the United States. Senator Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Carper (D-DE) introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

In November 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Acute Hospital Care At Home program to provide hospitals with increased flexibility to care for certain patients from the comfort and convenience of their homes rather than in a hospital setting. According to the American Hospital Association, this model has been proven to “reduce costs, improve outcomes and enhance the patient experience.”
“This commonsense legislation builds upon the incredible success individuals have seen in hospital-at-home programs and is a much-needed solution to the healthcare challenges facing our country,” said Congressman Buchanan. “The HOME Services Act is an important step in ensuring patients receive the level of care they need and deserve in the comfort of their own homes.”
According to recent studies, allowing patients to be treated in a more familiar environment and routine accelerates recovery time, improves sleep patterns, and reduces the risk of hospital-acquired infections and falls. This legislation allows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to test this program on observation status patients through a two-year pilot with strong safety parameters.
Presently, the hospital-at-home program is only available to those who have been admitted to the hospital in an inpatient capacity. Hospitals across the country are facing severe capacity and resource challenges. By allowing more individuals to receive care at home, hospitals will be able to dedicate precious resources and beds to sicker individuals who require more intensive care and oversight. The HOME Services Act would expand eligibility to include observation-level patients. According to Hospital at Home, the program “provides safe, high-quality, hospital-level care to older adults in the comfort of their own homes.” Additionally, it “lowers costs by nearly one-third, and reduces complications. It is highly rated by patients and caregivers alike.”
“Hospitals in Tampa Bay have been leading the way in providing high-quality care to patients across the region. This bipartisan legislation will allow our local providers to expand their services into patients’ homes, freeing up hospital beds for those who need it most and keeping our neighbors healthy and well and treated in a more comfortable setting,” said Congresswoman Castor. “I am thankful for the local hospitals who are always looking forward towards more innovative and efficient models of care, as well as my colleague Rep. Vern Buchanan for partnering with me on this critical legislation.”
This legislation has received the support of the Florida Hospitals Association, BayCare, Moffitt Cancer Center and Tampa General Hospital.
“With the incredible advancements in technology, we are reimagining how vital health care services can be delivered, and hospital at home is one of those innovative advancements,” said Mary Mayhew, President & CEO of the Florida Hospital Association. “The sophistication of 24/7 comprehensive remote health care monitoring combined with personal in-home visits with a clinical team allows patients to receive top-quality hospital care from the comfort of their own homes.  We are incredibly grateful to Representatives Vern Buchanan and Kathy Castor for sponsoring legislation that allows health care providers to build upon the success of hospital-at-home models by supporting more patients, such as those who may not need to be admitted to a hospital inpatient bed but still require hospital level of care that can be supported in their home.”
“Increased coverage of hospital-at-home care is something BayCare has been advocating for to improve the health of our communities. By including observation status patients, we can expand our range of service to provide health care where patients feel the most comfort, their homes,” said BayCare President and CEO, Stephanie Conners. “Treating patients at home also increases our hospitals’ capacity to treat the sickest of the sick. It enables the appropriate leveling of care: It’s care where patients need it, when they need it, and how they need it. I am thankful for Rep. Castor and Rep. Buchanan for their commitment to advancing care in the community where it is needed.”
“Moffitt Cancer Center is grateful for the leadership of Representatives Buchanan and Castor on the At Home Observation and Medical Evaluation Services Act,” said Philippe E Spiess, MD, Medical Director, Virtual Care; and Cristina Naso, Senior Director, Virtual Care, Moffitt Cancer Center. “By allowing for the expansion of the Hospital at Home program, this bill will help Moffitt leverage the unprecedented investments we are making in our capacity to provide virtual care that delivers superior outcomes and quality of life for people with cancer.”
“Tampa General Hospital has been operating a CMS-approved Hospital at Home program since 2022 and has seen firsthand the remarkable evidence via enhanced patient experiences and improved patient outcomes,” said Tampa General Hospital CEO, John Couris. “This is a true model of innovation that integrates remote patient monitoring, telehealth visits, and in-person comprehensive care by trained medical providers.”


FHA looks forward to working with Representatives Bilirakis and Castor, and Senator Rubio to secure passage of this important legislation.

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