Video drives home infusion message

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) recently donned a filmmaker's cap to bring life to its message.

"Act Now--Resolve the Medicare Home Infusion Coverage Gap" features three vignettes that dramatize the plight of seniors who can't be treated at home because Medicare pays only for home infusion drugs, not related services and supplies.

In the first, a patient who must remain institutionalized during his six-week treatment learns that his wife, left on her own, forgets to take her medication or eat.

It's a common scenario among Medicare beneficiaries, said Russ Bodoff, executive director of NHIA.

"They've been married a long time and are dependent on each other," he said. "When one is (institutionalized), the other spouse often suffers."

The other two scenarios include a woman afraid of getting an infection while in the hospital, and a woman who must depend on family members to drive her a long distance to an infusion clinic for treatment. A narrator touches on the cost savings of in-home treatment, but the focus is on patient care.

The Apria Healthcare-sponsored video, which has been shown to lawmakers and at various industry meetings, is posted on the NHIA's Web site, With the current national focus on healthcare reform, it's important to get the word out, said Bodoff.

The association has been lobbying to include the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act (S. 254 and H.R. 574) in a broader reform bill. At press time, the bills had 24 and 96 co-sponsors.

"There's increasing interest in our bill--but it's been crazy," said Bodoff. "It'll be interesting to see what happens with the whole reform package. Right now, no one truly knows."