The dome of the United State Capitol against a deep blue sky in Washington, DC.

House representatives are expected to introduce a sweeping piece of home care legislation this week that would enact policy changes to remove barriers to accessing care in the home. 

The bill, Expanding Care in the Home, aims to improve access to various types of home care, from personal care and primary care to dialysis and diagnostic imaging. It also would beef up investments in the workforce.

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

Among its provisions, the legislation would establish a personal care benefit that would allow 12 hours per week of personal care services for up to 90 days per year for those who are eligible. It also would allow primary care providers enrolled in Medicare Part B to elect to receive a monthly capitated payment as an alternative to fee-for-service reimbursement. The purpose of the latter is to remove the constraints of fee-for-service billing/documentation to facilitate house calls, according to a description of the bill by Moving Health Home, a lobbying group for care in the home and an architect of the bill.

The bill’s other offerings include establishing Medicare Part B coverage of home infusion services and supplies associated with the delivery of home infusion, and providing Medicare reimbursement for staff assistance for home dialysis. In addition, the legislation would  permit the delivery and reimbursement of ultrasound imaging in the home for certain beneficiaries. 

“Seniors and their caregivers want the option to stay home,” said Krista Drobac, founder of Moving Health Home. “That pandemic showed us it is possible, and we need to build on that.”

Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is co-sponsoring the legislation.