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Study Shows Home Care for Frail Patients Saves Millions

Portland-based Housecall Providers lauded by Sen. Wyden for participation and success in national study
June 19, 2015

Home care for frail patients reduced hospital readmissions, monitored care more closely and saved more than $25 million in federal funds, according to results from a 2013 national study released June 18.

Portland-based Housecall Providers was among 17 sites offering primary care services to chronically ill and impaired patients living at home.

“The study results confirms what we have believed for 20 years – that home-based medicine for the highest utilizers of Medicare services delivers better care and better health at a lower cost,” said Terri Hobbs, executive director. “This is a turning point for the way this population receives medical care in the future.”

Housecall Providers saved $1,133 per patient per month, and received $1.2 million as its share of the national cost savings.

“The potential for billions in Medicare savings that Independence at Home represents will only be realized if the best healthcare practices are put into place,” said

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, who co-sponsored the legislation that created Independence at Home and invited Housecall Providers to participate.

“Housecall Providers is a national leader in home-based medicine, and I congratulate their outstanding performance in this demonstration project.”

Of the 17 sites, Housecall Providers was one of only four organizations that met all six quality measures for reimbursement. CMS agreed to share a percentage of the savings for organizations that met at least three quality measures.

They included:

  • Reducing the rate of emergency room visits and hospital admissions caused by conditions such as COPD and diabetes.
  • Reducing the rate of 30-day hospital readmission rates.
  • Managing medication in the home within 48 hours after being discharged from the hospital.
  • Doing follow-up consultation within 48 hours after the patient has returned home.

Many of those patients fall into the category of the 5 percent of the Medicare population that uses 50 percent of the funds.

The Independence at Home project served 8,400 Medicare patients who met the following criteria:

  • Had two or more chronic conditions
  • Had coverage from original, fee-for-service Medicare
  • Needed assistance with two or more functional dependencies (such as walking or feeding)
  • Had a non-elective hospital admission within the last 12 months
  • Received acute of sub-acute rehabilitation services in the last 12 months.

An estimated 4 million adults in the U.S. need home care. A recent study by the Oregon AARP found that the vast majority of Oregonians (90 percent) said it’s important to have medical services that allow people to stay in their own home as they age.

Kendra Hogue is a Portland-based freelance writer. She can be reached at [email protected]


Housecall Providers

5100 S.W. Macadam Ave., Portland


Provides quality home-centered medical care, integrating primary, palliative and hospice services for homebound patients in its community.

Founded in 1995 by Dr. Benneth Husted.

In its first full year, its patient census was 90; it now has a daily census of nearly 1,400 patients.

Last year, it admitted 519 new patients and more than 11,500 house calls.

Employs 100.

The average age of its patients is 79; 26 current patients are at least 100 years old; 20 percent are under 65.