Florida Congressional lawmakers propose legislation to extend hospital care into homes

by | Mar 21, 2024

Members of Florida’s congressional delegation, led by Congressman Vern Buchanan and Congresswoman Kathy Castor, have introduced the bipartisan HOME Services Act to expand hospital-at-home care.

Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, led by Congressman Vern Buchanan and Congresswoman Kathy Castor, have introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at expanding the provision of hospital care in patients’ homes.

The proposed legislation, known as the At Home Observation and Medical Evaluation (HOME) Services Act, intends to implement a pilot program that would allow for a broader application of at-home hospital care across the United States. The measure follows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2020 initiation of the Acute Hospital Care At Home program, designed to give hospitals the flexibility to treat certain patients at home.

The HOME Services Act targets patients on observation status, a group not currently covered by the CMS program, with the goal of reducing the strain on hospital resources by enabling more patients to receive care at home. This would, in turn, allow hospitals to allocate more beds and resources to critically ill patients needing intensive care. Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Tom Carper of Delaware have introduced similar legislation in the Senate.

“This commonsense legislation builds upon the incredible success individuals have seen in hospital-at-home programs and is a much-needed solution to the healthcare challenges facing our country,” said Buchanan. “The HOME Services Act is an important step in ensuring patients receive the level of care they need and deserve in the comfort of their own homes.”

Several healthcare institutions in Florida, including Tampa General Hospital, BayCare, Moffitt Cancer Center, and others, have voiced support for the legislation. These hospitals presently implement  forms of at-home care models and have contributed insights into the benefits of such programs, including improved patient satisfaction and reduced hospital readmissions.

“With the incredible advancements in technology, we are reimagining how vital health care services can be delivered, and hospital at home is one of those innovative advancements,” said Mary Mayhew, President & CEO of the Florida Hospital Association. “The sophistication of 24/7 comprehensive remote health care monitoring combined with personal in-home visits with a clinical team allows patients to receive top-quality hospital care from the comfort of their own homes.  We are incredibly grateful to Representatives Vern Buchanan and Kathy Castor for sponsoring legislation that allows health care providers to build upon the success of hospital-at-home models by supporting more patients.”


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