Infusion providers brace for Medicare Part D benefit

May 2, 2005

The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) held an audio conference recently to alert home infusion providers to the challenges they may face when the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit is implemented on Jan. 1, 2006.

The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) held an audio conference recently to alert home infusion providers to the challenges they may face when the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit is implemented on Jan. 1, 2006.

Emphasizing that NHIA has been communicating with policy makers to help them understand that home infusion is a comprehensive clinical service distinct from retail drug dispensing, NHIA executive director Lorrie Kline Kaplan said the new benefit presents some serious obstacles for providers.

"It is a benefit that is focused mostly toward traditional retail therapies. It was not designed as a home infusion benefit. Over the years we have really focused on trying to build a coverage model for Medicare that is very similar to what is working in the private sector. We'd like to see all the components of care covered appropriately, not just a drug."

Kaplan also applauded CMS for acknowledging that home infusion is used to reduce overall healthcare costs. However, she added, "we obviously have a lot of challenges within this benefit as it is currently written."

NHIA outlined the following challenges that home infusion providers would face:

Questions on Part D may be sent to info@nhianet.org
.