Lawmakers re-introduce home infusion bills

Thursday, January 29, 2015

WASHINGTON – Stakeholders are back with new bills that seek to require Medicare to cover home infusion therapy.

Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Mark Warner, D-Va., and Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, introduced “The Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act of 2015” on Jan. 28 in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Medicare will cover most infusion drugs but, unlike private payers, it provides only limited coverage for related supplies, services and equipment.

“Home infusion therapy has been the accepted standard of care within the private sector for more than three decades, providing patients with high–quality infusion care in a setting that is often cheaper and more comfortable than a hospital or doctor's office—their homes,” said Warner, in a press release.

The bills are similar to those introduced in past legislative sessions, including one introduced by Engel and Tiberi in September.

Stakeholders hope to bolster support for the bills with a study, released in 2014, which found that Medicare could save $80 million over a 10-year period by covering home infusion therapy. The study was conducted by Avalere, a non-partisan healthcare policy firm.