Congress passes payment fix for home infusion

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Friday, February 9, 2018

WASHINGTON – Passage of a temporary payment for infusion services validates the role those services play in caring for patients and reducing costs, stakeholders say.

The payment was part of a government spending bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate in the early hours of Feb. 9.

“We’re excited—not only did this fix the gap, but it further cements the recognition of home infusion therapy within the Medicare program and its attendant clinical services,” said Tyler Wilson, president and CEO of the National Home Infusion Association. “That recognition will be important to reinforce our efforts going forward on other challenges.”

The association and other stakeholders in the home infusion community have sought the temporary payment to address a gap created by the 21st Century Cures Act, which requires Medicare to pay for services associated with providing Part B infusion drugs, but not until 2021. The temporary payment will be effective Jan. 1, 2019, as outlined in the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Access Act of 2017.

CMS officials have said they need a year to implement the temporary payment and stakeholders are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work, they say.

“Our next steps are to come together as a community to identify how we see this coming together and working with CMS in front of and behind the scenes to make sure it’s seamless and we are ready to go on Jan. 1,” said Ken van Pool, vice president of legislative affairs for the NHIA.