Marco Rubio files legislation to expand hospital at home programs
FILE PHOTO: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies hearing to discuss President Biden's fiscal year 2023 budget request for the National Institute of Health on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 17, 2022. Anna Rose Layden/Pool via REUTERS

FILE PHOTO: FY 2023 Budget Request for NIH in Washington
Tampa General Hospital serves as model for national expansion of at-home care.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has filed bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate aimed to increase access to health care.

The At HOME Services Act of 2024 will create a pilot program that expands hospital at home programs to include patients requiring observation.

“Addressing our health care challenges requires innovative solutions,” Rubio said. “The At HOME Services Act builds on the success of the hospital-at-home program to lower costs and burdens and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction.”

Health care systems across the nation initiated care programs at home in recent years under the Acute Hospital Care at Home Waiver from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). One such program is run by Tampa General Hospital, where patients are accessing hospital care in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

“TGH at Home is a true model of innovation — integrating high-tech applications such as remote patient monitoring and telehealth visits with in-person comprehensive world-class care by trained health care providers,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General. “Not only does this program enhance patient experience, it also improves patient outcomes.”

TGH at Home is a patient-centric care model that combines expert care and innovative technology with a focus on safe and compassionate care and the personalized needs of the patient. Based on the same standards used inside the hospital, patients in the TGH at Home program receive daily in-home visits and care from TGH providers, virtual visits, and continuous remote patient monitoring.

Since the program launch, TGH observed tangible benefits in terms of outcomes, quality, safety and overall patient experience. In addition, patients enrolled in TGH at Home have lower readmission rates, on average, when compared with patients of similar diagnoses, ages and acuity in a traditional hospital setting.

TGH at Home quickly became a model for the nation, providing information and input to lawmakers on the state and federal level looking to advance innovations that can increase access to care.

“We’re proud to have played a role in the development of The At HOME Services Act,” Couris said. “Steve Harris, our senior vice president of payor and government affairs, was instrumental in working with the Senator and his team to craft this groundbreaking legislation and advance innovative solutions that can transform patient care.”

Under current law, hospital-at-home programs only covers acute patients, not observation-status patients. The legislation introduced by Rubio expands eligibility to include observation-status patients.

The At HOME Services Act is a bipartisan measure, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat.

“The pandemic taught us that meeting patients where they’re at is possible and often preferred,” Carper said.

“That’s why I worked to increase and expand access to hospital-level care from the comfort of home. These services have seen tremendous success for people across the country, including in Delaware, and the At HOME Services Act would build on these programs to continue reducing costs and improving patient outcomes.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.



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