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NHIA supports bill, but says more needs to be done

NHIA supports bill, but says more needs to be done

John RademacherWASHINGTON – A bill to expand in-home care, including home infusion, for Medicare beneficiaries is a big step forward, but there’s more that can be done to improve access, says the National Home Infusion Association. 

The Expanding Care in the Home Act, introduced April 25 by Reps. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., and Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., would expand coverage for home-based services, such as home infusion, dialysis, diagnostic imaging, and personal care services. 

“The Expanding Care in the Home Act breaks down barriers in the Medicare program that make home-based care inaccessible,” said John Rademacher, chair of NHIA’s board of directors and CEO of Option Care Health, which is a member of both NHIA and Moving Health Home, an alliance of health care stakeholders. “The past few years have demonstrated that a wide array of health care services can be provided in the home at the convenience of patients and to the benefit of the health care system at large. However, providing coverage for the full scope of professional services necessary in providing that care – such as pharmacy services for home infusion – is essential to designing workable coverage.” 

The NHIA points out that the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act, as introduced in the 117th Congress, would permanently fix the home infusion benefit by requiring CMS to pay home infusion providers for professional services each day the drug is administered and removing the requirement that a skilled professional be present in the home for billing to occur. 

“NHIA appreciates the partnership with Moving Health Home in drafting this legislation that shows how a comprehensive benefit for home-based care, including infusion services, could work,” said Connie Sullivan, president and CEO of NHIA. “It’s critical that Medicare beneficiaries have the same access to contemporary care models that patients in the commercial sector enjoy. Unfortunately, under the current Medicare home infusion therapy benefit, we’ve only seen a widening gap in access, as evidenced by CMS’s most recent HIT monitoring report. We urge Congress to take action to remedy these issues and move the Medicare program further into the future of home-based care.”



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