Press Releases

Christiana Care Health System Chosen to Participate in Independence at Home Demonstration Project for Medicare

Project is a result of an amendment co-sponsored by Sen. Carper in the Affordable Care Act

Jun 01 2012

NEW CASTLE – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined Christiana Care Health System leadership to announce that the hospital was selected from a competitive pool of applicants to participate in the Independence at Home Demonstration Project. Announced at the New Castle Senior Center, this project is a result of an amendment Sen. Carper cosponsored in the Affordable Care Act and will help homebound Delawareans receive critical health care services.

The Independence at Home Demonstration Project tests whether delivering primary care services in the home can lead to better health outcomes and reduce costs for patients living with multiple chronic illnesses. This project will improve and expand primary health care services for participating Medicare beneficiaries by providing chronically ill patients with comprehensive primary health care in their homes. This Medicare demonstration project builds on the success of the Veterans' Administrations Home-Based Primary Care program.

"The key to getting better results in our health care system is better coordination of care and preventing illness and injury whenever possible," said Sen. Carper. "The Independence at Home Demonstration Project will allow patients to receive primary care services in the comfort of their own home. This will hopefully improve the health of individuals with multiple chronic conditions and reduce costs by keeping them in their homes and out of emergency rooms."

Christiana Care is among 15 participants selected from a pool of more than 130 applications representing hundreds of health care providers interested in the delivery of this new model of care. The project is scheduled to begin today, June 1, 2012, and conclude May 31, 2015.

"We are honored that Christiana Care has been selected for such an important project and we are very grateful to Sen. Carper for having the foresight to include this as an amendment to the Affordable Care Act," said Michael Rosenthal, M.D., Chair of Christiana Care's Department of Family & Community Medicine. "For many of our patients, quality care is best delivered to them in their homes. This demonstration project will allow us to reach more of our senior patients in need, support them, and help keep them out of the hospital. This type of program is a great example of how Christiana Care provides value-based care."

"By visiting patients in their homes, you get insights that are invisible during a routine office visit," said Ina Li, M.D., the Associate Director of Geriatrics and the Medical Director of the Visiting Nurse Association at Christiana Care. "Many of our patients have health conditions that make it difficult for them to access key health care services. But through our visits we are able to learn how patients are living with their medical conditions, how they are using their medications, their lifestyles, and support system."

"As a caregiver for my mother and sister who are both disabled, this service is a tremendous benefit to me and the patients," said North Wilmington resident Pat Wise. "It is not only the wheelchair-bound patients that need to be transported, but all their equipment that needs to go along as well. Also, if I took my mother to see the doctor, my sister would be left alone or coverage would be needed. Having the doctor visit the home, both patients can be seen and receive the care they need at one time and the doctor gets a total picture of what is going on."

Under the project, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will partner with primary care practices led by physicians or nurse practitioners to evaluate the extent to which delivering primary care services in a patient's home will improve health care and reduce costs. Up to 10,000 Medicare patients with chronic conditions will be able to access most of the health care services they need in their homes.

For more information about Christiana Care, visit www.christianacare.org/whoweare.