Growth of Fee-for-Service Medicare Home-Based Medical Care Within Private Residences and Domiciliary Care Settings in the U.S., 2012–2019



      Home-based medical care (HBMC) delivers physician or advanced practice provider–led medical services for patients in private residences and domiciliary settings (eg, assisted living facilities, group/boarding homes). We aimed to examine the time trends in HBMC utilization by care settings.


      Analyses of HBMC utilization at the national and state levels during the years 2012–2019.

      Setting and Participants

      With Medicare public use files, we calculated the state-level utilization rate of HBMC among fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries, measured by visits per 1000 FFS enrollees, in private residences and domiciliary settings, both separately and combined.


      We assessed the trend of HBMC utilization over time via linear mixed models with random intercept for state, adjusting for the following state-level markers of HBMC supply and demand: number of HBMC providers, state ranking of total assisted living and residential care capacity, and the proportion of FFS beneficiaries with dementia, dual eligibility for Medicaid, receiving home health services, and Medicare Advantage.


      Total HBMC visits in the United States increased from 3,911,778 in 2012 to 5,524,939 in 2019. The median (interquartile range) state-level HBMC utilization rate per 1000 FFS population was 67.6 (34.1–151.3) visits overall, 17.3 (7.9–41.9) visits in private residences, and 47.7 (23.1–86.6) visits in domiciliary settings. The annual percentage increase of utilization rates was significant for all care settings in crude models (3%–8%), and remained significant for overall visits and visits in domiciliary settings (2%–4%), but not in private residences.

      Conclusions and Implications

      The national-level growth in HBMC from 2012–2019 was largely driven by a growth of HBMC occurring in domiciliary settings. To meet the needs of a growing aging population, future studies should focus efforts on policy and payment issues to address inequities in access to HBMC services for homebound older adults, and examine drivers of HBMC growth at regional and local levels.


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