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A Medicare program that allowed approved health systems to bill for hospital care delivered in people’s homes during the pandemic is on the cusp of a two-year extension, giving a boost to home care models many see as the future.

Whether they become a long-term reality will depend on convincing policymakers and health care organizations that home health care delivers good outcomes in a financially viable way.


Launched in November 2020 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Acute Hospital Care at Home waiver program was intended as a way to increase capacity at hospitals overburdened with Covid-19 patients. But it had the side effect of creating a public experiment in home-based care for people who require hospitalization for conditions like pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more. A government spending package that’s likely to pass Congress before the end of the year would extend the program through 2024.

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