By Tom Schramski, PhD, CM&AA
Volume 2 Issue 13, June 23, 2015
Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released first-year results from the Independence At Home (IAH) Demonstration, which focuses on providing primary healthcare services to qualified individuals (65 years of age or older) with multiple medical conditions and impairments. These individuals, many of whom are very high utilizers of healthcare resources, have been prioritized in an effort to provide high quality, cost-effective healthcare in the era of the Affordable Care Act.
The results, in some cases, have been remarkable. In Portland, Housecall Providers, one of 17 national IAH participants, showed a 32% savings for home-based primary care compared to the control group, which received no home-based primary care. In fairness, not all IAH participants evidenced the same positive impact, but others showed even more. Many patients remarked positively on the nature of their care and Housecall Partners received a Practice Incentive Payment of $1,228,263, in addition to their other fees, from CMS. CMS (our government) kept an equal amount of the savings.
These results point to a future that includes the following:
In the Epilogue to his very insightful book, Being Mortal, Atul Gawande wrote:
We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine.
We think our job is to ensure health and survival.
But really it’s larger than that. It is to enable well-
being. And well-being is about the reasons one
wants to live.
The personal and economic truth of his words can be seen in all areas of healthcare, from the urgent care and CVS-type retailing of health and wellness to the emerging social support movement, including adequate housing, for individuals with serious mental illness. Customers want it, funders want it, and so do physicians and other care providers. This is where we are headed – a positive Pandora’s Box – and it offers abundant opportunity for the healthcare entrepreneur.
Tom was the Founder and Managing Partner of VERTESS. He was a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA), consultant, and Licensed Psychologist with over 35 years of very successful national experience in the healthcare marketplace, including co-founding and building a $25 million behavioral health/disabilities services company. Tom represented sellers and investors across the healthcare spectrum and was recognized for his executive leadership in the 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year issue of Inc. Tom passed away in December 2018.