PHARMACY

CVS Health Research Institute: Home infusion both economically and clinically viable

BY Michael Johnsen
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – A new study by the CVS Health Research Institute found that home infusion care is safe, clinically effective and improves quality of life while reducing health care costs when compared to infusion care delivered in a hospital or clinic. 
 
The findings underscore the value of home infusion services – where medication is delivered intravenously in a patient's home – for the health care system, including patients and payers. The study was published in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.
 
"As the U.S. health care payment system shifts from volume to value, we are focused on identifying new approaches to health service delivery that provide better care and improve patient outcomes while lowering costs," stated Troyen Brennan, study author and chief medical officer CVS Health. "Our research shows that home infusion care is a promising model that is both cost- and clinically-effective and is overwhelmingly preferred by patients when intravenous therapy is required." 
 
Researchers conducted a systematic review of existing peer-reviewed research evaluating infusion care for several conditions, including cystic fibrosis, antibiotics following orthopedic surgery and several cancers requiring infused chemotherapies. Researchers compared measures of quality, safety, clinical outcomes, quality of life and costs of home infusion services to those provided in medical settings. The research showed that patients receiving intravenous therapy at home had as good or better clinical outcomes as those patients who received the same therapy in a traditional health care setting. In addition, patients overwhelmingly preferred receiving their infusion therapies at home, reporting fewer disruptions in personal schedules and responsibilities. The costs associated with home infusion were also consistently lower than services provided in a health care facility, with savings ranging between $1,928 and $2,974 per course of treatment.  
 
"At CVS Health, we provide important home infusion services to patients through Coram, which is just one of the ways we are expanding our clinical delivery model and helping to move important health services to lower cost sites of care," added Alan Lotvin, EVP CVS Specialty. "In fact, our patients report high satisfaction with our Coram home infusion services, citing convenience and comfort as key elements that improved their overall experience."
 
 
 
 
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Reuters: Pfizer approaches Medivation about potential takeover

BY Gina Acosta

Pfizer has approached Medivation about a possible purchase of the company, raising the possibility of a bid rivaling a $9.3 billion offer by Sanofi SA, Reuters reported on Wednesday. (Reuters)

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CDC: At least 30% of antibiotic scripts unnecessary

BY David Salazar
ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to new data published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that at least 1-in-3 antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary. The study looks at antibiotic use in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms nationwide, finding that some 47 million excess antibiotic prescriptions are written for viral respiratory conditions. 
 
“Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, and if we continue down the road of inappropriate use we'll lose the most powerful tool we have to fight life-threatening infections,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden. “Losing these antibiotics would undermine our ability to treat patients with deadly infections, cancer, provide organ transplants, and save victims of burns and trauma.”
 
The news comes as the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) seeks to reduce the number of antibiotic prescriptions by 15% by 2020. Congress has allotted $160 million toward funding for the CDC to implement the CARB plan by accelerating outbreak detection and prevention state-by-state, supporting research to identify knowledge gaps and informing providers and the public about antibiotic resistance and appropriate use, among other initiatives. 
 
“Setting a national target to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in outpatient settings is a critical first step to improve antibiotic use and protect patients," said Lauri Hicks, director of the CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. “We must continue to work together across the entire health care continuum to make sure that antibiotics are prescribed only when needed, and when an antibiotic is needed that the right antibiotic, dose, and duration are selected.”
 
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