Home Infusion Stakeholders Push S. 1738
Already receiving House approval, legislation would create a transitional pay structure to ensure Medicare continues adequate funding for home infusion services.
- By David Kopf
- Dec 21, 2017
Home infusion stakeholders continue to urge Senators to co-sponsor S.1738, the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Access Act, to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can continue receiving medically needed home infusion therapy.
Already passed by voice vote in the House as section 101 of H.R. 3178, S.1738 would address a funding oversight created by the CURES Act. The CURES Act included a provision that creates a new funding structure for home infusion starting in 2021, but it left funding for some home infusion services and supplies open to reimbursement cuts that began in January, 2017.
The cuts jeopardized beneficiaries’ access to home infusion, which is a grave concern given that many home infusion patients suffer serious, life-threatening medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure and immunodeficiency disorders, that require the therapy.
S.1738, which was introduced into the upper chamber by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), would create a transitional clinical services payment for home infusion services that would start in 2019 and end when the new structure is implemented in 2021
The bill currently has 27 co-sponsors, and its backers are hopeful that the Senate will pass the legislation before the close of 2017 to preserve patients’ access to these life-preserving services.
“We are hopeful the Senate will take action before year-end to close the gap in care that has been created,” said Drew Walk, CEO of Soleo Health, a national provider of home and alternate-site infusion services. “This bill is integral to thousands of Medicare patients whose life-sustaining care will become comprised if no resolution is reached before the end of the year.
“Without access to these important home infusion therapies, many patients could be forced to migrate to the hospital setting to receive similar treatment, resulting in higher costs for the Medicare program and further taxing our healthcare system,” he added. “We urge the Senate to act soon to protect the health and well-being of these fragile patients.”
A home infusion coalition, Keep My Infusion Care at Home, was established to help patients, providers and other stakeholders stay informed and to organize and coordinate lobbying efforts.
David Kopf is the Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.