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Dingell, Smith Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand In-Home Care

Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to modernize Medicare reimbursement and increase patient access for home-based health services. The Expanding Care in the Home Act would remove barriers currently limiting patient access to care in the home, which is often the preferred site of care for patients, caregivers, and providers, and ensure home-based care is a viable option for patient care and scalable for providers.

“We know people often prefer to receive care in the comfort and security of their own homes, and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of expanding access to health care beyond traditional doctor’s office or hospital settings,” said Rep. Dingell. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation which will help remove barriers to care and increase options for patients to receive critical care in the setting of their choice.”

“As we identify opportunities to modernize the care seniors can access, we must consider the convenience and comfort home care offers them,” said Rep. Smith. “The Expanding Care in the Home Act is a commonsense measure to ensure Medicare can process claims for in-home care services, and I’m proud to lead introduction of this important bill.”

Specifically, the Expanding Care in the Home Act would:

  • Improve the feasibility for primary care doctors to deliver home-based care, bringing house calls back to Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Create a personal care services benefit in Medicare to fill the gap for beneficiaries unable to afford to pay out of pocket yet do not qualify for home care services by Medicaid.
  • Bolster the accessibility and affordability of home dialysis for kidney patients.
  • Increase access to preventative screening by allowing beneficiaries to receive in-home lab testing.
  • Fix outdated policies to better enable the delivery of advanced diagnostic imaging in the home.
  • Expand access to home infusion services by addressing fragmentation and affordability.
  • Build up the next generation of the home-based care workforce, including physicians, nurses, and emergency medical service providers.

View the full text of the legislation here.

Dingell has long been a leader in Congress on expanding access to long-term care services. She previously introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act and HCBS Access Act with Senator Casey to enhance Medicaid funding for home care, strengthen the caregiving workforce, improve quality of life for families, and boost the economy by creating good paying jobs to make it possible for families and workers alike to thrive.

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