Bill would extend hospital-at-home program through 2027

U.S. lawmakers have drafted legislation to expand the CMS waiver for hospital-at-home programs through 2027, drawing applause from the American Hospital Association.

CMS has approved 322 hospitals across 133 health systems to provide acute hospital care at home since 2020, but the temporary waiver expires Dec. 31, leaving some health systems wary about adopting the care model. The Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act would extend the program three more years.

"As you consider action beyond temporary extensions of the waiver, we would welcome the opportunity to work with you to establish and implement a permanent version of the program that enables qualified patients to receive safe and effective hospital-level care in the comfort and safety of their home," the American Hospital Association said in an April 22 statement.

The AHA pointed to improved patient experience and outcomes from the care model, where acute care patients are treated at home via technology and clinician visits. "This program will allow thousands of Americans to continue receiving quality care from the safety of their own home," stated U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, DPM, R-Ohio, an author of the draft legislation. "Patients are less anxious, and heal better, when they can heal at home."

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