Q: What is infusion therapy?

A: The most common type of infusion is intravenous (IV) therapy, which involves the administration of medication directly into the blood stream through a vein by a needle or catheter. It is prescribed when medications are not effective when given by an oral route. Infusion therapy can be given in a hospital, physician’s office or a skilled nursing facility.  However, patients who are able to administer their own therapy may prefer to receive their infusions at home or in an ambulatory infusion suite to accommodate their lifestyle.

Q: Does a nurse come to my home for every dose?

A: A nurse usually visits your home once or twice weekly, depending on your therapy.  For your first dose (either in your home or in our infusion suites), your nurse will educate you on how to administer your own infusion therapy, and make sure you are comfortable and confident in your ability to perform all the necessary tasks.  A nurse will also commonly perform weekly dressing changes and monitor your access site for any problems.  If you have any concerns or questions regarding your therapy, please don’t hesitate to call; our nurses and pharmacists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Q: Am I going to be home-bound?

A: No! It is always our priority to accommodate your lifestyle, and we will do everything we can to help you maintain your level of activity.  Most infusion pumps are ambulatory; this means you can carry them with you anywhere in a backpack or fanny-pack.  There are many types of infusion therapies, and our staff will talk you through any limitations your particular therapy may create.  Let us know what your expectations are, and we will  help come up with solutions to make your therapy as convenient as possible.

Q: Does insurance cover home infusion? Are there additional out-of-pocket expenses for home infusion?

A: Every insurance plan is different.  We will always check with your insurance company to find out what they cover, and we will tell you BEFORE your therapy begins if you are responsible for payment, and what the estimated out of pocket cost will be.

Q: Will Medicare pay for home infusion?

A: Patients must meet Medicare criteria and guidelines. Please contact our Insurance Specialist who will be able to help you determine if services will be covered.

Q: Can I travel?

A: Almost all home infusion patients are able to travel.  You need to make sure you have all necessary supplies for the length of your travel, and access to medical care if you need it while you are away.  Always check with a pharmacist or nurse when planning a trip and we will do everything we can to accommodate you.

Q: Will my infusion treatment interfere with other medications?

A: Our clinical infusion pharmacists will always obtain a complete medication and allergy history before starting your therapy, and make sure your treatment is safe and will not interfere with your medications.  If the pharmacist notices any medications or allergies that may cause an increased risk to you, she will notify your physician immediately with a recommendation. The pharmacist will make sure you understand your therapy and you will have the opportunity to speak directly with the pharmacist regarding any questions or concerns you may have.

Q: How do I get additional supplies?

A: Generally, we deliver medications and supplies to your door weekly in conjunction with a nursing visit. We do our best to track your usage so we can anticipate your needs.  However, to ensure that you don’t run out of your products, please call us and let us know if you are running low on anything.  We request that you give us a few days notice so we can prepare your order and schedule a delivery that is convenient for you.

Q: Who do I contact if something goes wrong with my equipment?

A: For any life-threatening emergency, call 911. Contact your nurse or pharmacist at (360)933-4892 if there is a problem with your equipment, or if you have questions about how to administer your therapy.  There may be some instances where you should call your physician, and we will help guide you in these situations. 

Q: What number do I call after business hours?

A: Call our regular office number, (360)933-4892.  Our answering service will contact the nurse or pharmacist on call, who will call you back within 15 minutes to assist you. We are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Q: What is USP 797?

A: http://www.usp.org/audiences/pharmacist/797FAQs.html