Upstate Homecare bets on infusion

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

CLINTON, N.Y. – At a time when other HME companies are downsizing operations or shuttering entirely, Upstate Homecare is looking to grow, thanks to a renewed focus on specialty infusion care in the upstate New York area.

In focusing on specialty infusion, Upstate is shifting away from retail pharmacy, a niche market previously developed through acquisition, said CEO Gregory LoPresti. Specialty infusion offers a home care model that complements Upstate’s existing respiratory offerings, and it also allows a greater chance for the company to grow. It currently serves patients across New York state.

“We are one of the few regional independents for home infusion,” LoPresti said. “That’s a huge strategic advantage for us because we are local.”

With more patients preferring home care whenever possible, LoPresti said, Upstate has seen tremendous growth in the infusion market, with annual growth in the double digits. To keep up with the demand and expand in the future, the company has developed a strategic plan and added management and marketing staff to get the word out about Upstate’s infusion services.

LoPresti said Upstate’s recent success also can be attributed to its unique model of care, which aims to make it possible for infusion patients to get their prescribed medical therapies at home or in a non-hospital setting. 

“It’s not about profit. It’s about services that keep patients out of the hospital,” LoPresti said. “It’s about being able to come up with answers to every objection out there.” 

In addition to offering infusion suites in collaboration with physician partners, Upstate also employs vascular access nurses who use portable ultrasound machines to help place central catheters in patients and infuse medications outside of the hospital.

“Not many companies offer ultrasound-guided PICC placement,” LoPresti said.

Upstate’s medical staff also includes pharmacists and dietitians who can provide patients with information about additional health needs, including any nutritional deficits. The goal is to help patients receive the care their need at home and reduce their chance of returning to the hospital.

“We are creating great teams that don’t know the meaning of no,” LoPresti said.