As new therapies come to market, practices can generate revenue and simplify care coordination with an in-house infusion center

By Featured article

Infusions for chronic conditions are estimated in the thousands of dollars per patient – yet many are required to help stem joint deterioration in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or slowing the comorbidities that often are associated with a chronic condition.1  Other specialties like gastroenterology and ophthalmology are facing similar issues with medication costs, reimbursements, and care coordination.

Payers are looking to control costs, while still being concerned about the quality and safety for their covered patients. As new infusible therapies come to market every year, the pressure to look at containing costs increases.

The move to provider-administered infusion sites has helped to lower the costs from health-system based sites or stand-alone infusion centers and mitigated some of the issues facing safety around home infusions, including coordination of care.

With the launch of these new therapies, some practices are looking to expand their services or even begin construction for an infusion suite. But how does an infusion suite maximize its’ efficiency while still maintaining a strong program of quality care?

Practices need to look at several issues including:

  • Managing inventory and administering drugs – having the right amount of infusion medications and support medications needed for potential adverse reactions
  • Ensuring treatments and dosing regimens are accurate and easily verified and readable to increase patient safety. For this specific issue, it may require CPOE (computerized order entry)
  • Looking at processes to ensure that all workflows, both clinical and administrative, are optimized
  • Investigating patient scheduling so that staff time is optimized, and infusion delivery stations use is maximized, while meeting guidelines for cleaning and disinfection
  • Ensuring that coding and billing are accurate, and notes are ready for those payers who request them – which can lead to a reduced time in AR and a reduction in denials
  • For a new infusion site being constructed or renovated, understanding the issues for space planning and ease of workflow
  • Planning for the long term – does the practice hope to expand by acquisition or merger and how might that affect the infusion suite? What are the plans for succession?

Whether infusions are an expansion of service lines, or a completely new service being offered, specialty practices need to feel assured that by offering infusion therapies to their patients, they are also strengthening their practice’s financial health and striving for better health outcomes.

The Business Optimization Team has experience in setting up new infusion sites as well as helping to create long term plans for existing infusion centers. To start a conversation about how they might help your practice, email practiceconsulting@amerisourcebergen.com.

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149291817307312