Conference offers 'lots to think about'

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

PHOENIX – Attendees at this year’s National Home Infusion Association annual conference will learn the nuts and bolts of operating in a changing environment, organizers say.

“We’re starting to talk about business management and how you manage organizational change,” said Jennifer Charron, vice president for clinical services at NHIA. “HIPAA, cybersecurity, inventory management—there are a lot of things out there to think about. We have to understand that we have to continue to change, and think about how to put those changes in place and hold on to those changes.”

This year’s event, scheduled for April 23-26 in Phoenix, features a mix of educational tracks, workshops and preconference sessions that brings back “fan favorites” like roundtable sessions.

The event also includes two new “lecture and learning” certificate programs: a “Sterile Compounding Clinic,” and “Home Infusion RN Essentials.”

“Our membership often relies on home health agency partners to perform nursing visits for our patients,” said Charron. “Attendees will be able to practice some standard education skills, like dressing changes and port access—all the basics.”

The compounding clinic is equally hands-on, with attendees practicing skills like garbing, hand washing and testing in an area right on the expo floor, says Marilyn Tretler, vice president of communications.

“The United States Pharmacopeia is continuing to raise the standards for compounding, so we need to make sure everyone is applying those standards and making sure their facilities are in alignment with those standards,” she said.

Reimbursement is always a hot topic for healthcare providers and home infusion is no exception. The reimbursement track includes sessions on payer point of care optimization, hiring and training A/R staff, and copay assistance programs, says Charron.

These sessions reflect the crossover she’s seeing between clinical and reimbursement teams each learning what the other does.

“It really has shifted to, you really need to understand the reimbursement part,” said Charron. “A nurse, a pharmacist or a tech needs to understand how it gets paid, how you code it.”