Alexandria, Va. (February 8, 2022) — The National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) is proud to announce that Dr. Sohail Masood, PharmD is the recipient of the 2022 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor that NHIA bestows on a member of the home and alternate site infusion profession and is given to an individual who has dedicated significant time, energy, and resources to advocating on behalf of patients and the industry. The award was established in 2006, and is named after Gene Graves, a home infusion pioneer who was instrumental to the founding of NHIA in 1991. Dr. Masood will receive the award during NHIA’s 2022 Annual Conference, at the General Session on Tuesday, March 15 at 9:45 a.m. Eastern.
Dr. Masood is the founder and CEO of KabaFusion, a full-service national home infusion company specializing in intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), subcutaneous immune globulin (SCIG), total parenteral nutrition, specialty pharmaceuticals, and acute home infusion therapies through 22 pharmacies strategically located across the country. KabaFusion is the largest privately held home infusion company in the U.S. with 1,500 employees, servicing patients across 44 states.
Dr. Masood discovered home infusion during clinical rotations as a pharmacy student at University of Southern California (USC), and “fell in love immediately.” After completing a pharmacy residency at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, he returned to Los Angeles, where he established and ran the home infusion pharmacy at Good Samaritan Hospital.
In 1992, Dr. Masood and his wife, Mona, also a pharmacist, founded Ultracare Pharmacy (later Crescent Healthcare). They treated the first 2 patients in California receiving intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for neuromuscular disorders and quickly recognized a potential niche for home administration of IVIG, which until that time was typically used in acute care settings. He led Crescent through the acquisition of Apria Healthcare’s California home infusion business in 1998 and sold his majority share to a private equity firm in 2004. Crescent was acquired by Walgreens in 2011.
In 2004, Dr. Masood founded MAAS Medical, a medical device company that created a state-of-the-art infusion pump for home-based patients. MAAS Medical was sold to Baxter International in 2007. In 2009, Dr. Masood founded KabaFusion, where he serves as Chairman and CEO.
Dr. Masood was instrumental in developing the home infusion market for IVIG by educating physicians on its clinical benefits in neuromuscular disorders. He has contributed to the growing body of knowledge through research that has led to many new uses for IVIG, including Multifocal Motor Neuropathy (MMN), Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS), Small Fiber Neuropathy, and other diseases. In 2001, Dr. Masood assisted a landmark study of IVIG use in Stiff Person Syndrome by donating product that was in severe shortage to allow the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to complete the project. More recently, his non-profit, Dysimmune Diseases Foundation, initiated novel research on the use of IVIG in Diabetic Neuropathy.
Dr. Masood is also a devoted patient advocate who has lobbied vociferously for IVIG and SCIG coverage policies that afford patient access to care. In the early days of Crescent Healthcare, he worked with renowned neurologists to educate payers, resulting in positive changes in reimbursement policies. In 1997, he fought to overturn a Medicare policy that discontinued coverage of IVIG for the treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). Realizing that many of his CIDP patients could become wheelchair bound if their treatment ceased, he assumed the personal financial risk of continuing to supply IVIG without reimbursement. He also collaborated with members of Congress to press for a reconsideration. His advocacy resulted in the policy being reversed, and the CIDP patients being able to continue to receive their life-changing treatments. Another lobbying effort by Dr. Masood and members of Congress in 2003 convinced Medicare to allow reimbursement for IVIG for skin disorders, including Pemphigus and Pemphigoid diseases.
Among his many awards and accolades, Dr. Masood is a 2-time recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1999 for Crescent Healthcare and 2017 for KabaFusion) and was awarded the Most Distinguished Alumni Award from USC School of Pharmacy in Los Angeles, where he serves on the Board of Counselors.
“I am humbled and honored that NHIA selected me for the most prestigious Gene Graves Award,” said Dr. Masood. “For 35 years I have been involved in the home infusion industry in one way or another and it has been rewarding as I have been able to make a difference in so many of my patients’ lives.”
“We are proud to recognize Dr. Masood with NHIA’s 2022 Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award. His pioneering work and unyielding spirit have benefited the home and alternate site infusion industry as well as countless patients,” said Connie Sullivan, BSPharm, NHIA’s President and CEO.
“Dr. Masood’s dedication to his patients and the expansion of immunoglobulin therapy is unmatched. He saw the therapeutic potential of IVIG, imagined that home administration was possible, and advocated for policies and coverage to make it possible,” said Tim Affeldt, PharmD, NHIA Board Chair. “His labors have moved us forward as an industry and provide inspiration for the work we do today.”
NHIA is a trade association that represents companies that provide infusion therapy to patients in their homes and companies that manufacture and supply infusion and specialty pharmacy products. Infusion therapy involves patient-specific compounded medications, supplies, and a range of pharmacy, nursing, and other clinical services for delivering care to patients in the home setting. For more information, visit www.nhia.org.
NHIA submitted comments on a CMS proposed rule (CMS-1770-P) that would affect Medicare payments and coverage of COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and coding and billing requirements related to the use of single dose containers and drug waste.
As part of a strategic focus on promoting health equity, The National Home Infusion Foundation (NHIF) recently adopted standardized categories for race and ethnicity data collection and is encouraging all providers to include voluntary questions to capture this data. NHIF will utilize this data throughout its projects to evaluate equitable access to infusion treatments in alternate sites.