Bill would allow more Medicare patients to receive health care in their homes
Jan 28 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Mark Warner, D-Va., today introduced S.275, the Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act of 2015, to allow beneficiaries who need intravenous medications to receive their infusion treatments in the comfort and convenience of their homes and at a lower cost to Medicare.
“I know from personal experience that infusion therapy in the home setting is a safe and effective way to care for patients,” said Senator Isakson. “Twenty-six years ago, in 1989, my youngest son was tragically injured in a horrible automobile accident. His ability to recover at home rather than a hospital was less expensive and better for his quality of life. Home infusion technology is a tremendous contribution to quality health care.”
“Home infusion therapy has been the accepted standard of care within the private sector for more than three decades, providing patients with high–quality infusion care in a setting that is often cheaper and more comfortable than a hospital or doctor's office – their homes,” said Senator Warner. “Medicare should allow physicians, in consultation with their patients, to judge where infusion services are best provided, whether that is at home or another facility.”
Infusion therapy is the administration of medications into the bloodstream via needle or catheter. Infusion therapy is fully covered by Medicare in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospital outpatient departments and physician offices, but coverage in patients’ homes is limited. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries in need of infusion therapy must often receive their treatments in health care facilities rather than in their homes, the setting that is the most desirable, convenient and by far the most cost-effective.
“According to Avalere Health, a nationally recognized health care consulting firm, Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy would save taxpayers at least $80 million over 10 years,” Isakson continued. “This is good for the patient and good for Medicare's bottom line.”
“The introduction of The Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act of 2015 offers a common sense approach to improving patient care, while reducing Medicare spending,”said National Home Infusion Association President and CEO Russell Bodoff. “With the urgent need to reduce Medicare spending, this legislation represents an ideal opportunity for Congress to help find vital Medicare savings while improving care for seniors and our disabled.”