WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2022)—The bipartisan Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act is new legislation introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives that would extend the acute care hospital at home waiver program. Initially introduced in November 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the program provides an alternative setting of care for certain conditions, such as asthma, pneumonia and COPD.

As of February 2022, there were 92 health systems and 202 hospitals in 34 states participating in the hospital at home waiver program.

According to the legislation, upon completion of the PHE, the Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act would trigger a two-year extension of the hospital at home waiver, as well as require an evaluation of the program by the Department of Health and Human Services with recommendations for additional legislation and administrative action as the Secretary of HHS sees appropriate.

At introduction Sen. Tim Scott heralded the new bill stating, “The Acute Hospital Care at Home program has revolutionized health care for many Americans by improving care while decreasing health risks associated with hospital stays. I’m proud to extend this program that will ease pressure on our health care system and allow thousands of vulnerable Americans to continue receiving quality care from the safety of their own home.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup added, “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed deficiencies in our current health care system, and forced us to develop new, innovative solutions to deliver care for patients. As a co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus and a physician, I recognize the value of giving providers more tools to offer appropriate methods of care, one being in the comfort of patients’ homes. Everyone has different treatment needs and plans, and we must make sure that people have continued access to these options as Congress reviews how to make the initial flexibilities from the pandemic more permanent in an appropriate manner.”

NAHC thanks Sens. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) and Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) for introducing the Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has expressed support for this legislation.