A new study by the CVS Health Research Institute found that home infusion care is safe, clinically effective and improves quality of life; and when it’s compared to infusion care delivered in a hospital or clinic, it may also reduce healthcare costs.
Home infusion services — in which medication is delivered intravenously in a patient’s home — are a rapidly growing delivery model in the healthcare system with rising rates of chronic and acute conditions that require intravenous therapy.
Despite this, clinical outcomes and quality of care have not previously been systematically evaluated. While many commercial health plans provide comprehensive coverage for home infusion services, Medicare has limited reimbursement for this type of care, and Congress is discussing how to implement a comprehensive home infusion benefit for Medicare beneficiaries.
Of course, CVS Health has a stake in the findings. Coram, a service provided by the company, provides infusion services to those suffering from immune deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis and serious infections that require intravenous antibiotic therapy. CVS has also invested heavily in its Minute Clinic line of retail clinics.
At Coram, care is administered by infusion nurses and pharmacists, and patients receive additional disease management education and support throughout their treatment.
Troyen A. Brennan, MD, study author and chief medical officer for CVS Health, said in a statement that home infusion is a promising model that’s cost effective and preferred by patients in need of intravenous therapy.