- What is infusion therapy?
- Is it safe to receive infusion therapy at home?
- What types of therapy can be delivered intravenously in the home?
- What medical conditions can be treated with infusion therapy?
- Am I a candidate for home infusion therapy?
- How do I receive my home infusion therapy? Who administers it?
- Can I travel while on home infusion therapy?
- Is infusion therapy in the home more cost-effective than in a hospital?
- Will my insurance cover home infusion therapy?
- What credentialing and accreditation programs are available for home infusion providers? Is accreditation required?
What is infusion therapy?
Infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter. It is usually prescribed when a patient's condition cannot be treated with oral medication.
Walgreens Infusion Services specializes in providing infusion therapy to people in their homes and other alternate locations. Our services include the clinical management of drug therapies, nursing support, and care coordination.
Is it safe to receive infusion therapy at home?
Until about 30 years ago, patients needing infusion therapy had to remain in the hospital until their therapy was completed. With the advent of new technologies and pharmaceuticals that allow therapeutic services to be administered safely and effectively outside of the hospital setting, home infusion therapy has become more common.
Home infusion therapy is a proven, safe, and effective alternative to hospital inpatient care.1, 2 For most people, receiving treatment at home or in an alternative treatment setting, like an ambulatory infusion suite, is preferable to hospital inpatient care. It can provides comfort and convenience for patients and offers less interruption to their daily activities. It is also be a cost-effective alternative to expensive hospital stays.3, 4
References: 1. Bhole, M. V., Burton, J., & Chapel, H. M. (2008). Self-infusion programmes for immunoglobulin replacement at home: Feasibility, safety and efficacy. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America, 28(4), 821-832. 2. Souayah, N., Hasan, A., Khan, H., et al. (2011). The safety profile of home infusion of intravenous immunoglobulin in patients with neuroimmunologic disorders. Journal of Clinical Neuromuscular Disease, 12(suppl 4), S1-10. 3. Home infusion therapy: Differences between Medicare and private insurers' coverage. (2010, June). United States Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Requesters. Accessed July 23, 2012: http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/305261.pdf. 4. Einodshofer, M. (2012). A plan for medical specialty medications - increase member access, affordability and outcomes while decreasing plan costs. Presented at: 2012 Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute Annual Drug Benefit Conference; 2012 Feb. 22-24; Scottsdale, Ariz.
What types of therapy can be delivered intravenously in the home?
Walgreens Infusion Services specializes in providing a wide range of home infusion therapies, including but not limited to:
- Anti-infective therapy (antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral)
- Nutrition support (enteral and parenteral nutrition)
- Immunoglobulin (IG) therapy
- Inotropic therapy
- Factor (bleeding disorders)
What medical conditions can be treated with infusion therapy?
We work closely with other healthcare professionals to clinically manage patients with a wide range of acute and chronic conditions, including but not limited to:
- Infectious diseases
- Nutritional/gastrointestinal disorders
- Cancer and hematological disorders
- Primary immune deficiencies
- Autoimmune disorders
- End-stage heart failure
- Pre- and post-transplantation support
Am I a candidate for home infusion therapy?
The decision to receive infusion therapy in the home is made between you and your doctor. Several factors are considered before a patient can receive infusion therapy in the home, including the patient's and/or caregiver's desire and willingness to comply with therapy and the presence of a safe and appropriate home environment.
How do I receive my home infusion therapy? Who administers it?
Walgreens Infusion Services develops a customized care plan focused on your home infusion therapy needs. Our most important concerns are your safety, comfort and convenience.
Once you are discharged from the hospital and ready to receive your therapy at home, we will schedule your infusion appointment at your convenience. Your infusion medication is then mixed in a local, accredited Walgreens Infusion Services branch pharmacy that meets all industry safety and sterility standards. The medication is delivered to you and is administered by an experienced nurse specifically trained in infusion therapy.
You will also receive support from our local multidisciplinary team of clinicians and support staff who provide:
- 24/7 access to a clinician
- Patient and caregiver education, training, and monitoring
- Reimbursement assistance coordination
- Regular communication with your doctor concerning your treatment
- Professional, friendly, and compassionate support
Can I travel while on home infusion therapy?
Walgreens Infusion Services regularly cares for patients who travel, work, coach baseball, play baseball, and do just about anything you can think of. We have state-of-the-art infusion devices that are lightweight and portable and require only a backpack, purse, or even a pocket for transport.
Our pharmacies have the capability to support all of your home infusion needs while you travel for work or pleasure within the continental United States.
Is infusion therapy in the home more cost-effective than in a hospital?
Costs associated with the home delivery of infusion therapy have been estimated to be a 60% less than in traditional inpatient setting such as a hospital.1
References: 1. Milliman; Acute Infusion Analysis, December 2009
Will my insurance cover home infusion therapy?
Home infusion care is covered by most insurance companies. We will work with your insurance company to obtain patient benefit verification and authorization before starting treatment.
What credentialing and accreditation programs are available for home infusion providers? Is accreditation required?
There are no specific regulations requiring an infusion provider to become accredited. However, in many instances, insurance companies require providers to be accredited to serve their patients. Accreditation ensures that the specialty infusion provider meets or exceeds all industry standards. All Walgreens Infusion Services locations are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC).