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Advocacy News

NHIA Responds To CMS REPORT ON HOME INFUSION UTILIZATION Trends

February 2, 2022

CMS recently issued a report which summarizes utilization trends for the Medicare Part B home infusion therapy (HIT) services benefit over the past 3 years. The data is consistent with independent findings from an NHIA internal analysis that the benefit – as currently implemented – has failed to draw sufficient participation from providers to ensure equitable access to beneficiaries across the U.S.

The report found a decrease in provider participation in the benefit. Between Q1 of 2019 and 2021, the number of participating DME/HIT supplier organizations fell 25% from 54 to 40 (top graph). This despite there being nearly 1,000 DMEPOS pharmacies, 11,000 home health agencies, and a wide range of other providers in the U.S. capable of participating in the benefit

In addition, the report notes a drop in beneficiary utilization coinciding with the COVID-19 public health emergency. This finding runs counter to commercial claims obtained by NHIA from 2020 and 2021 that indicate the PHE has prompted an overall increase in home infusion utilization.

“Considering this summary, NHIA urges CMS to expeditiously reconsider the definition of infusion calendar day, as well as expand the definition of professional services to include those offered by pharmacists. By not accounting for the full range of services, patients are losing access to home-based IV care at a time when these services are most needed,” said Connie Sullivan, BSPharm, NHIA President and CEO.

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