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Patients, Senate, House Members Identify Significant Medicare Savings While Increasing Quality of Patient Care
Date:3/5/2009

Medicare Coverage of Cost-Effective High-Quality Home Infusion Can be First Step in Initiating Healthcare Reform

WASHINGTON, March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients on Medicare and Senators Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY-17) today urged Congress to fix a flaw in the Medicare program which forces patients to undergo treatments in institutional settings when it is often unnecessary. The immediate legislative actions that can be taken to achieve Medicare savings while providing high-quality, life-saving home infusion therapy to older and disabled Americans, was the focus of an educational forum hosted by the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA).

The Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act of 2009 was introduced earlier this year to close a gap that currently exists in coverage where the medicines used in infusions to treat serious diseases are covered, but not the medical services, supplies and equipment needed to deliver the home therapy.

"Many Arkansans on Medicare who need home infusion therapy are simply unable to afford it. As a result, they often have to enter a hospital or nursing home for the infusion treatment to be fully covered by Medicare. Not only is this an extreme hardship for the patient, it actually results in a higher cost to Medicare. This legislation would provide for full Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy, ultimately lowering costs and improving patient outcomes," said Senator Lincoln.

"Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy is a prime example of immediate action we can take to deliver high-quality patient care at a lesser cost," said Senator Isakson. "I witnessed firsthand the world of difference treatment at home makes to patients and their caregivers when my son
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SOURCE National Home Infusion Association
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