Coalition Letter Signed by Home Infusion Community Urging an Immediate Fix to Damaging Reimbursement Gap Left by 21st Century Cures Act, Heads to Congress
Alexandria, VA, January 26, 2017—The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA), representing the home and specialty infusion community, is advocating to fix an unintended damaging consequence brought about by the 21st Century Cures Act that puts vulnerable patients at risk of losing life-saving home infusion therapy. A coalition letter, signed by organizations representing the home infusion community, urges legislators to modify provisions included in the Cures Act that put into effect average sales price (ASP) reimbursement for Medicare Part B Durable Medical Equipment (DME) drugs on January 1, 2017, without implementing a payment for the necessary services associated with home infusion, including nursing and pharmacy services, until 2021. The four-year gap needs to be closed to ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to the critical drugs that are provided under the Medicare Part B DME benefit and the clinical services required to administer the infusion therapy in the home.
Over 170 home infusion providers and partners; patient advocacy groups; hospital systems; physician groups; medical societies and associations have signed the letter urging Congress to act early in 2017 to close the four-year gap between the January 1, 2017, implementation of ASP and the implementation of the infusion services payment in 2021.
“The home is a safe, cost-effective site of care for delivering high-quality infusion care and is considered the preferred site of care by physicians and patients alike,” said Tyler Wilson, President & CEO, National Home Infusion Association. “Heart failure patients and those living with primary immunodeficiency diseases are particularly impacted by the shift in drug reimbursement. Until the gap in reimbursement is fixed, these already fragile beneficiaries may be forced to undergo treatment in an institutional setting where they are at a higher risk of infection and their quality of life is diminished.” he added.
NHIA urges patients, caregivers, providers, and other members of the health care community to advocate for a change in the law to ensure beneficiaries have access to home infusion therapy. To learn more about the ASP reimbursement issue or join the effort to close the gap, visit NHIA’s website.
NHIA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, represents organizations that provide infusion and specialty pharmacy products and services to the entire spectrum of home-based patients as well as the interests of Medicare patients unable to get home infusion therapy. For more information, visit the Association at www.nhia.org