Home Infusion Stakeholders Rally for Passing of S. 1738 Before Year End
Time is of the Essence as Continued Access to Life-sustaining Care for Thousands of Medicare Patients Remains Threatened
McKinney, Texas, December 18, 2017 – Home infusion stakeholders have been urging lawmakers to include the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Access Act of 2017 (S. 1738) or Section 101 of Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3178) in any end-of-year legislative package to ensure Medicare beneficiaries can continue to receive life-sustaining infusion therapies in their homes.
S. 1738 and Section 101 of H.R. 3178 would create a temporary transitional clinical services payment for home infusion services beginning in 2019. These bills would allow Medicare beneficiaries access to infusion therapy in the home until a permanent services reimbursement—which became law under the 21st Century Cures Act—is implemented in 2021. Providing reimbursement for these clinical services would enable the home infusion community to continue to service some of Medicare’s most fragile patients, including immune-compromised individuals and those with congestive heart failure.
As of today, S. 1738 has 25 co-sponsors and remains in the Senate awaiting passing. The House already passed H.R. 3178 by voice vote, and both the House and Senate bills have bipartisan support. Congress has a growing list of priorities that need to be addressed before the end of the year, and this legislation needs to be on top of the list to ensure the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has adequate time to implement the new system. “We are hopeful the Senate will take action before year-end to close the gap in care that has been created. 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,” explained Drew Walk, chief executive officer at Soleo Health, a national provider of specialty home and alternate-site infusion services currently lobbying for legislative action.
“When a patient’s health condition is so severe that oral medications are not effective, they are often prescribed the types of infusion therapies that are now in question in terms of coverage. Oftentimes, these therapies are life-sustaining and when administered in the home, keep patients out of the hospital. In many cases, these medications afford these patients some sense of quality of life they otherwise would not have. Additionally, since home infusion patients typically suffer from high-risk conditions, caring for them in their homes reduces their exposure to other infections and presents significant cost-savings for our healthcare system. 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. We urge the Senate to act soon to protect the health and well-being of these fragile patients,” Walk concluded.
Countless stakeholders, including Soleo Health, have been rallying around these measures in support of their patients and the physicians with whom they work to coordinate care. As part of the industry’s collaboration surrounding patient advocacy efforts, a home infusion-focused coalition, Keep My Infusion Care at Home, was established to support affected patients and providers as well as urge policymakers to find a solution that immediately addresses these vital issues.
About Soleo Health
Soleo Health is an innovative national provider of specialty home and alternate-site infusion services. Its team of experienced clinicians provides exceptional care in managing patients with complex or chronic conditions through comprehensive therapy management programs. Taking a consultative approach to customer service, Soleo ensures patients’ clinical needs are met by compassionate and caring associates delivering personalized care, resulting in greater customer satisfaction.
Soleo Health operates 18 locations through the U.S. with pharmacy licensure in 49 states, and is accredited by The Joint Commission and URAC. For more information, visit www.soleohealth.com or connect with Soleo Health on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.