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What is Home Infusion Care?

By: | Tags: , , , , | Comments: 0 | February 12th, 2015

The use of home infusion care allows patients who require regular intravenous treatments to receive this form of treatment in the comfort of their home.  Normally, patients would have to regularly travel to the clinic of a doctor to who administers this type of therapy, or to a clinic that specializes in IV treatments.  Home infusion care incorporates medications and a trained nursing staff that is able to tend to patients within their place of residence.

Home Infusion includes Hemophilia Therapies

This accommodation has gained good support from the public, since many patients who do require IV treatments may have issues with mobility and transportation.  The use of home infusion care providers ensures that patients will stick to medication protocols, and also ensures that administration is properly conducted.

Outpatient Care versus Home Care

While outpatient infusion therapy has also gained support, in home care is being seen as a preferable alternative, especially in terms of cutting costs for this type of treatment.  The shift to outpatient clinics occurred in the 1980s, before which time candidates were required to check into a hospital in order to receive their medication.  Although outpatient clinics and qualified physicians do make access to therapy more viable, home infusions are seen as a way to further allow patient access to infusion treatments.

Home infusion care also incorporates regular patient monitoring and can include blood panels and other testing that may be required with the treatments.  Patients are given access to certified nursing staff that comes to the place of residence, and may also be a part of a larger assistance program for home care services.  This allows patients to minimize hospital time, and to resume lifestyle activities more rapidly.

What does Home Infusion Care Include?

IV therapy is utilized in treating a number of conditions.  This also means that different home infusion care can administer a variety of medications in the comfort of the house.  As a result, patients are able to receive highly specialized and individualized medication protocols that are also closely monitored by a trained healthcare staff.

Some of the treatments that home infusion care can attend to include:

  • Antibiotics – for a number of infectious and chronic conditions, including respiratory issues and transplant infections
  • Parenteral nutrition – for conditions such as stomach cancers and other gastric diseases where patients cannot process nutrients through the stomach or intestines
  • Enteral nutrition – feeding tube treatments may be required in patients with advanced Alzheimer’s or other conditions where eating through the mouth is prohibited.
  • Cardiac therapies – which may include the blood thinning infusions or treatment for inflammations in the circulatory system
  • IV/Sub-Q Gamma Globulin –  this covers a number of chronic illnesses in which the body is unable to produce appropriate antibodies
  • Pain management – which can include steroids and IVIG treatments for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Anti-emetics – this can be precipitated by an actual condition or may be a conjunct treatment for other therapies such as chemotherapy
  • Hemophilia therapies – these often include IVIG treatments and other medications which assist in heightening clotting factors within the body
  • General hydration – this treatment may be adjunct to other infusion therapies or may be required for patients with severe chronic conditions, or cognitive disorders and dementias which prevent patients from properly hydrating on their own

As there are a number of conditions that can call for some form of infusion therapy, home infusion care gives patients a greater freedom for well-being while still following the prescribed drug protocols.

What are the Risks Associated with Home Infusion Care?

Although this form of specialty therapy can utilize a number of different medications which may cause a reaction in patients, the actual process of home infusion care is considered extremely safe.  This is because qualified healthcare providers are tasked with administering the medication, central line catheter care, and monitoring patient or condition changes.  As a result, the patient receives hospital quality services at home.

General risks may include actual reactions to the medication.  This can be a common occurrence, and the home healthcare staff will document any of these issues and keep track of symptom and side effect changes in the patient.  Home infusion care is considered very safe because other problems such as risks of medication overdose or reactions and infections at the site of the central line are greatly reduced.  This is due to the fact that administering nurses will:

  • Assess patient history, including looking at current lab reports and verifying any other medications and supplements that could cause reactions
  • Maintain sterile conditions for the administration of the drugs and the treatment setting
  • Properly store any of the medications and equipment that are required for the therapy
  • Document procedures and any changes that are witnessed with the patient
  • Ensure that the site of injection is stable enough for ongoing treatment and attend to any infections or reactions that may occur as a result of home infusion therapy

This generates both the convenience and the safety of this option for infusion therapy.

Does Insurance Cover Home Infusion Care?

Most private insurance providers will cover this type of care and therapy.  Cost of medications coverage can vary between providers and can also depend on the drugs that are being used to treat any given condition.  A majority of infusion treatments are FDA approved for specific conditions, and these are considered necessary and valuable by most providers.

The actual home care service is accepted by national providers, although co-pay can vary between agencies.  Patients who have demonstrated issues with mobility and travel will often receive special consideration for home infusion care, but some providers may cover medication but not all of the in home services.  It should be noted that Medicare does not cover either medications or services if they are a part of home infusion care.  While Medicare will provide for infusion pumps and clinic based infusion therapy, it will only cover home infusion care if there are already provisions for in home care based on other aspects of the physical condition.

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