Association launches data drive

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) wants your data.

In January, NHIA launched an industry-wide data-gathering initiative to gain a clearer picture of the home infusion industry and define how best to move forward on several fronts, said Nancy Kramer, vice president of clinical affairs for NHIA.

"We are looking for contributions from everyone in our industry to really further our legislative efforts," she said. "It will also help us better define standards of care for our patients and operational best business practices."

The initiative will roll out in several phases. The first: a provider survey to capture home infusion demographics, said Kramer.

"Today we cannot answer how many patients in the United States receive home infusion therapy," she said. "We should know that answer. We should be able to leverage that when legislative and reimbursement decisions are made."

Many current standards of care are based on the acute-care setting, said Kramer, and those standards aren't always applicable to home care. Without alternative data to offer, home infusion providers will continue to be held to acute care standards, she said.

This is not the first time the NHIA has attempted to gather this data, but it has struggled with providers' reluctance to share information. This year, the association has secured commitments from its 12 board member companies, which include Apria and Critical Care Solutions.

Kramer hopes smaller providers will follow their lead.

"In the past, very few companies stepped up to the plate," said Kramer. "This year, we've got commitment at a very high level that will give us a huge baseline of data."