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Appropriate Care Setting Protects Medicare’s Future

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Home Based Primary Care program, for example, achieved an overall net savings of 24 percent, while simultaneously reducing hospital admissions by 31 percent, by allowing some veterans to receive care at home. The HBPC program was specifically designed to target patients with complex chronic diseases who the VA determined could safely receive treatment from an interdisciplinary team of health professionals in the home setting.

Likewise, the 2010 health care law has authorized several home health care demonstration projects that have shown cost reductions of as much as 63 percent.

The placement of patients in the most cost-effective setting is a fundamental step toward improving quality and efficiency, streamlining care transitions and strengthening care coordination across settings. Our nation must embrace the innovative thinking necessary to reform our post-acute care payment system and safeguard Medicare’s future.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The country demands bold, persistent experimentation,” and never has this sentiment been more true than as it relates to modern health care. Working together, we can safeguard a healthy future for all Americans. Doing so will require bold action and the innovation that is within our reach.

Bob Dole is a former Republican Senator from Kansas. Blanche Lincoln is a former Democratic Senator and House Member from Arkansas.
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