|Below are some common questions regarding infusion therapy. For additional information or questions please contact a member of our infusion pharmacy staff at 316-858-2100.
- What is infusion therapy?
- What diseases are treated with infusion therapy?
- What is a home infusion therapy provider?
- Do I have a choice of which infusion therapy provider I want to use?
- What equipment and supplies will I receive from Home Medical Services?
- Who provides the nursing care for my infusion therapy treatment?
- Is Home Medical Services Infusion Pharmacy accredited?
- Does insurance cover home infusion therapy services?
- Does Medicare cover home infusion therapy services?
- What type of infusion pumps does Home Medical Services infusion pharmacy use?
1. What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication intravenously. It is prescribed when a patient's condition cannot be treated effectively by oral medications. Common prescription drug therapies administered via infusion include antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, chemotherapy, hydration, pain management and parenteral nutrition. Home Medical Services Infusion pharmacy currently does not provide chemotherapy.
2. What diseases are treated with infusion therapy?
Diseases commonly requiring infusion therapy include infections that are unresponsive to oral antibiotics, cancer and cancer-related pain, dehydration, gastrointestinal diseases or disorders which prevent normal functioning of the gastrointestinal system. Other conditions treated with specialty infusion therapies may include cancers, congestive heart failure, Crohn's Disease, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of infusion therapy treatments are IV antibiotics, prescribed primarily for such diagnoses as cellulitis, sepsis, osteomyelitis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and sinusitis.
3. What is a home infusion therapy provider?
An infusion therapy provider is most normally a "closed-door", state-licensed pharmacy that specializes in provision of infusion therapies to patients in their homes. The infusion therapy always originates with a prescription order from a qualified physician who is overseeing the care of the patient. Qualified infusion pharmacies must satisfy licensing and other regulatory requirements imposed by state pharmacy boards as well as accreditation standards.
4. Do I have a choice of which infusion therapy provider I want to use?
Yes, you have a choice.
5. What equipment and supplies will I receive from Home Medical Services?
Depending on the type of medication your physician has prescribed will determine the type of equipment and supplies you will need. Items typically given to each patient may include the following: infusion pump, IV tubing, medication, saline flushes, and catheter care supplies.
6. Who provides the nursing care for my infusion therapy treatment?
Home Medical Services infusion pharmacy works with home health agencies throughout Kansas. The home health nurse will provide visits to assist and train you on your infusion therapy.
7. Is Home Medical Services Infusion Pharmacy accredited?
Home Medical Services infusion pharmacy is accredited by CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program.
8. Does insurance cover home infusion therapy services?
The range of variables that must be managed by the infusion pharmacy to ensure safe and appropriate administration has led nearly all commercial health plans to treat home infusion therapy as a medical service, reimbursed under their medical benefit (rather than the prescription drug benefit) and paid for using a per diem for clinical services, supplies, and equipment with separate payments for the drugs and nursing visits. It also has led most commercial plans to require that infusion pharmacies be accredited by nationally recognized accreditation organizations. Commercial plans have used this model aggressively to reduce overall health care costs while achieving high levels of patient satisfaction.
Government health plans such as Medicaid, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program also reimburse for home infusion therapy, although for Medicaid in a few states the extent of coverage can have gaps. A major exception in completeness of coverage is, unfortunately, the Medicare program.
9. Does Medicare cover home infusion therapy services?
Unfortunately, Medicare's fee-for-service program (Parts A, B and D) is the only major health plan in the country that has not recognized the clear benefits of adequately covering provision of infusion therapies in a patient's home. Because most Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in the fee-for-service program, when seniors and the disabled find they may need infusion therapy they often find it unaffordable to receive this care the comfort of their home.
Providing home infusion therapy involves not only the delivery of medication, but also requires professional services, specialized equipment and suppliesto ensure safe and effective administration of the therapy. While most infusion drugs may be covered by the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that it does not have the authority to cover the infusion-related services, equipment and supplies under Part D. As a result, many Medicare beneficiaries are effectively denied access to home infusion therapy and are being forced into receiving infusion therapy in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and ambulatory infusion centers at a significantly higher cost to Medicare and at great inconvenience to the patients. For parenteral and enteral nutrition therapies, there can be coverage in Part B only if the need for the therapy is documented to be for at least 90 days and other coverage criteria are met. For home nursing visits needed for beneficiaries receiving infusion therapy, there can be Medicare Part A coverage under Medicare's home health benefit only if the patients are serviced by a Medicare-certified home health agency, as well as considered to be homebound and in need of intermittent (not 24 hour) home nursing.
10. What type of infusion pumps does Home Medical Services Infusion Pharmacy use?
There are many types of infusion pumps available. Home Medical Services offers state-of-the-art equipment for their infusion patients. We offer ambulatory pumps, which allow the patient to be up and about during therapy. Syringe pumps are easy to use and do not include all the hassles that electronic pumps do. We also offer stationary pumps, which can be set on a table top or mounted to an IV pole. To see information on our pumps.
There are many infusion therapy providers. As a patient you have the right to choose your provider. Talk to your physician and let him/her know the provider that you have chosen.