COVID-19 safety concerns have redefined “normal” for countless aspects of our lives and nowhere is that more apparent than healthcare. Some things, like discretionary testing and surgeries, will probably return to the pre-corona standard. But others (think telehealth visits) have achieved a new level of acceptance and may become the standard of care in many situations.
Another example that has captured our attention is home infusions. A leading group of cancer experts is now endorsing the administration of some chemotherapy regimens at home instead of in a hospital or outpatient setting. This comes as a welcome endorsement, considering we’ve been working on behalf of employers to identify health plan members who might benefit from a change in the site of care for their drug infusion therapy.
Numerous opportunities have long existed for drugs to be infused in patients’ homes. Home infusion provides the patient more flexibility for their daily lives. Most importantly, it decreases the risk of infection — which can be lifesaving for many of these conditions. Unfortunately, many of these opportunities never materialized in the past due to lack of knowledge, or worse — payment models.
Cancer and its supporting treatments were previously not considered eligible by many for home infusion. However, thanks to well-designed and controlled pilot trials and the support of nationally recognized experts, we can continue to minimize the risk of infection and save lives by infusing more patients in their own homes.
Will your health plan embrace the change and help move things forward, or will it continue to support the old model of expensive, hospital-based infusions?