NHIA: Patient survey heightens advocacy efforts

‘There is no more important voice than that of the patient’
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Friday, October 4, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The results of a recent patient satisfaction survey bolster efforts to make home infusion therapy more accessible, says Connie Sullivan, president of the National Home Infusion Association.

Nearly 98% of patients were satisfied with the overall quality of care in their homes; and nearly 99% were given clear instructions on their care by home infusion professionals, according to the first quarter results of the National Home Infusion Foundation’s Home Infusion Patient Satisfaction Benchmarking Program.

“Our industry prides itself on our ability to help patients become independent at home so that we have excellent protocols and standards for instructing patients on how to safely administer their own therapies,” said Sullivan. “There is no more important voice than that of the patient and this is validation of what all of us have anecdotally known, which was that patients want to be at home. This shows when they do go home they are highly satisfied with that experience.” 

The NHIA has long fought for the creation of a home infusion benefit under Medicare, and in February it sued the Department of Health and Human Services over the transitional payment for home infusion therapy services. At issue: CMS’s plan to limit reimbursement for professional services to only those days a “skilled professional”—which it defines as a nurse—is in the home.

The survey underscores how important the entire home infusion team is when it comes to patient care, says Sullivan.

“Patients can often have different nurses throughout the course of therapy, especially patients with chronic conditions who may need home infusion for long periods of time,” she said. “It is the pharmacist and pharmacy support team that provides the continuity of care and ensures everyone stays on the same page. CMS should look to the private sector model as Congress instructed, and these results reaffirm that that the pharmacy case management model for home infusion is not only cost-effective, but ensures patients feel confident about their care.”

The survey is the latest step in the NHIA’s multi-phase Industry Wide Data Initiative. The NHIF, a non-profit launched by the association, is currently finalizing metrics that will focus on clinical outcomes specific to certain therapy types, says Sullivan.

“There’s such a broad range (of therapies) that companies may be involved in,” she said. “We feel like we’ll get better results and the data will be more applicable if it’s customized to product lines.”

Feedback from home infusion providers has been positive, says Sullivan.

“Everyone is excited to finally have some national standards that they can compare to,” she said.