Congressman Kevin Yoder Visits Alternacare
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Alternacare Infusion Pharmacy was honored by the visit of Congressman Kevin Yoder. Mr. Yoder met with owners Mike Hayden and Rick Lane regarding the services that Alternacare provides for thousands of local area residents with infectious diseases, immune deficiencies, cancer, short bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis and other conditions to receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes. The Congressman toured the facility and spoke with Alternacare’s pharmacists to learn about the intake process, insurance benefit verification, preparation of medications and delivery staging process. During the visit, he was able to see the sterile preparation room, warehouse and infusion suites. Our nurse Sarah shared with Mr. Yoder the importance of patients being able to be cared for in their own home rather than having to stay in a facility to receive intravenous medication or having to make daily visits to a clinic or office to receive medication. There was also discussion regarding the lack of benefit coverage that a Medicare recipient has for home infusion. As the picture denotes, Medicare only covers the actual medication. Medicare does not cover the necessary pumps, supplies and services required to administer the medication. This lack of coverage creates high out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients, causing the patient to elect to make regular visits to a facility to receive their medication, to stay in a skilled nursing facility or to have to change to an oral medication, which may not be as effective as the intravenous route of administration. Many patients in this population would greatly benefit from the home infusion alternative when the therapy is administered in the comfort and convenience of the patient’s own home. An additional important factor is the cost savings for taxpayers if Medicare covers home infusion. Currently, two bills (Senate and House) are being scheduled to be re-introduced in late spring or early summer. These bills would address the appropriate changes necessary for this patient population to have the health benefit coverage needed when a physician prescribes home infusion therapy.
To learn more about this legislation, please visit www.nhia.org. With the potential support of future Medicare Home Infusion Legislation by Congressman Kevin Yoder and other Congressmen and Senators, more innovative healthcare solutions will be available to the Medicare population. We thank Congressman Kevin Yoder for taking the time to visit Alternacare on this cold, blustery day in January.
Drug shortages have always been something that pharmacies have had to deal with over the years, however, we usually found that allocation from manufacturers would get you through the tough times. Last year, 2012, proved to be much more difficult. The home infusion industry is a small component of a much larger healthcare industry that has felt the pain of drug shortages and we may continue to feel it in 2013.
According to an article from the New York Times published November 16th, 2012:
Rationing is just one example of the extraordinary lengths being taken to address the shortage, which health care workers say has ceased to be a temporary emergency and is now a fact of life. In desperation, they are resorting to treating patients with less effective alternative medicines and using expired drugs. The Cleveland Clinic has hired a pharmacist whose only job is to track down hard-to-find drugs. (see link below).
Fortunately, Alternacare has some great buyers that continue to find resourceful ways to acquire the medications when they are in short supply. Many times we can work in conjunction with the physician to see if there is a clinically equivalent substitute or a way to share supply with area hospitals.
Noted below are two websites for reference regarding medications that are in short supply. One is the Food and Drug Administrations website and the other is on the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists website.
As always, we will continue to focus on patient quality and service, while doing our very best to access the medications that every patient needs.
Recipe for St. Patrick’s Day Blondies
2/3 cup butter
1-1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup green M&M’s
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray non stick spray in a 13×9 inch glass dish. In a small bowl combine the flour, egg, baking soda. Mix the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add in the egg, mix well. Then add in the vanilla extract. Mix in the M&M’s into the batter. Pour the batter into the glass dish and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature then cut into bars.
Mark your Calendar!
March: Social Work Month
March 13: Registered Dietitian Day
March 30: National Doctor’s Day
April 1 – 7: National Public Health Week
April 9 – 13: Patient Advocacy Week
April 22: Earth Day
April 21-27: National Healthcare Volunteer Week
April 21 – 27: Healthcare Administrative
Published September 20, 2012
By ROWENA BIRNEL AND CHUCK LOOS — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
HELP MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES GAIN ACCESS TO HOME INFUSION THERAPY
S.1203 A bill to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide for the coverage of home infusion therapy under the Medicare
H.R.2195 To amend title XVIII of the Social SecurityAct to provide for the coverage of home infusion therapy under the Medicare
You Can Make a
Alternacare Infusion Pharmacy encourages YOU to get involved in the expanding Medicare Part D coverage. As you know, Medicare Part D patients can pose a particular challenge when being discharged with
Currently, the following two bills are in Congress:
You can help by visiting NHIA’s website (http://capwiz.com/nhianet/issues/alert/?alertid=50698926)
Click here to read the report