News > Advocacy > Representatives Dingell, Harshbarger Advocate for NHIA Home Infusion Bill During Key Health Panel Markup

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Representatives Dingell, Harshbarger Advocate for NHIA Home Infusion BILL During Key Health Panel Markup

November 16, 2023

In a November 15 House Energy and Commerce Committee markup, Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) expressed frustration that the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act (H.R. 4104) was not among the 21 health care bills being considered as part of the session, despite the inclusion of other legislation that would add more drugs to the DMEPOS home infusion benefit.   

“I’m disappointed and quite frankly perplexed by why the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act wasn’t included as part of today’s markup. This bill has earned the support of a wide array of stakeholders, advocates, and Members, including several on this Committee who’ve been asking for the technical fix for years,” said Dingell. “As we discuss ways to bring more infusion drugs into this benefit, it’s frustrating that we’re not also ensuring that the existing home infusion benefit is working properly, and that’s exactly what the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act does.” 

Dingell has been a fierce champion of improving patient access to home infusion and drew on her own experience with self-administered anti-infective therapy to make the point that when clinically appropriate, home infusion therapy may not require an infusion pump or a nurse to be present for every administration. “I think that this method of home infusion of drugs can often be safer and easier for patients when it’s an option. While we’re examining ways to bring new home infusion drugs into the benefit, I urge all my colleagues not to limit them to only drugs administered through a pump, and I would ask the Chairman if he would work with me and the rest of my colleagues as we move this forward.” 

Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), also a co-sponsor of the NHIA bill, seized on the opportunity to show her support of the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act. “As a pharmacist, I’ve witnessed first-hand the tremendous power of home infusion, and I know what it means for patients and their families when they’re able to receive treatments from the comfort of their home,” she said. “Frankly, it baffles me as well that the Medicare system lags so far behind our commercial payers in providing access to this vital service.”  

Subcommittee Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) committed to working with Reps. Dingell and Harshbarger to advance the bill in the near future.  

Watch the exchange, which begins with Rep. Dingell who uses an “offer and withdraw” amendment strategy to open the discussion.  

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