The move to home-based chemo infusion
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on chemotherapy infusion that is approved for delivery in the home. In 2019, home infusion and ambulatory infusion centers cared for more than 3 million people in the U.S.— representing a 300% increase since 2008.1 This growth is due to patient demand as well as a surge of innovation, clinical development, accelerated oncology drug approvals,2 and new indications. With the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act,3 home infusion therapy also became a benefit for Medicare beneficiaries.
There’s no doubt home infusion will continue to grow in the next five years, as payors look at ways to expand the solution, including with a focus on oncology, a recent survey by CareCentrix found.4
Research also continues to support the growing need for chemotherapy infusion at home. A 2022 study 5 found that patients who receive home-based chemotherapy want nursing care akin to what they would receive in an inpatient facility. Therefore, close and continuous assessment of their needs is required, and nurses should identify their patients’ health problems and devise interventions to improve patient safety.
Safety standards for chemotherapy infusion at home
As more infusion therapies and indications become available, payors must look for ways to ensure quality and patient safety since it will be vital to effective home-based care. Throughout the years, many safety standards have been put in place to regulate home infusion therapy.
- In 2016, the Oncology Nursing Society and American Society of Clinical Oncology published joint chemotherapy administration safety standards 6 which are intended to prevent risk for error and patient harm in all care settings, including the home.
- Additionally, the Gorski Model for Safe Home Infusion Therapy 7 was established. The model promotes positive outcomes, including the absence of complications and increased patient and provider satisfaction, when five key elements are addressed.
What to look for in a home infusion therapy solution
When evaluating the safety of home infusion, it’s important to acknowledge that it may not be the best place for everybody to receive treatment. Home infusion therapy solutions that leverage a combination of predictive analytics and provider engagement help to:
- identify patients most likely to benefit—and least likely to experience adverse events— from home-based infusion therapy.
- create greater collaboration between providers and home infusion nurses on the transition of care to the home.
For payors that are actively looking at home infusion therapy, it’s important to consider solutions that offer:
- focused oncology programs, including protocols for administration, safety, and monitoring8
- specialty-trained nurses and pharmacies with the expertise to mix and dispense chemotherapy
- provider engagement to help with the transition of care to the home
- skilled nurses that stay with the patient to monitor for signs of adverse reactions
- open communication and collaboration with the provider, should an adverse medication reaction occur
Learn more about the CareCentrix Home Infusion Therapy Solution.
1. National Home Infusion Association
2. American Journal Managed Care
4. 2023 CareCentrix Home Infusion Study
5. National Library of Medicine
6. “2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Nursing Society Chemotherapy Administration Safety Standards”. National Library of Medicine
7. “Infusion therapy: A model for safe practice in the home setting”. American Nurse Journal
8. “Chemotherapy safety at home”. EviQ
- Home Infusion Therapy
- Quality Care