How to optimize your infusion program and build a strategy that reduces patient leakage.
As payers continue to mandate the delivery of healthcare in lower-cost of care settings including infusion services, health systems are facing new disruptions to continuity of care, leading to increased patient leakage and worsening clinical and financial outcomes for organizations.
Herolind Jusufi, PharmD, MS, a Visante Hospitals & Health Systems Services Consultant, co-authored a recent study that examined the infusion value stream at a Midwest academic medical center. After analyzing the organization’s current-state infusion services, the authors made several recommendations to increase care quality and continuity for the health system’s infusion program.
This study aimed to not only address short-term medication access impacts, but to identify other key factors for a competitive advantage in the long term. Let’s take a closer look at their approach, in addition to some of the study’s key findings.
First, Jusufi and co-author Nicholas Boivin, from the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, analyzed several aspects of the medical center’s existing infusion program, including:
- Infusion capacity
- Billing strategy
- Patient mix/volumes
- Payer mix
- Staffing levels
- Current policies
They found that payer site of care mandates pose an increased administrative challenge for health systems to triage patients effectively without fragmenting care. Many operational considerations come into play when working across pharmacy, revenue cycle, medication access, and clinical teams to avoid waste in the system. So, an effective infusion strategy must include broad stakeholder representation to address all the clinical, operational, and financial challenges.
For the medical center evaluated in the study, the authors developed a streamlined process to triage patients to the appropriate site of care, which would help to increase capacity across the various infusion centers within the health system. In addition, they identified a key opportunity to gain efficiencies by eliminating paper orders in one of the facility’s infusion centers.
Payer site of care mandates and medication bagging policies aren’t likely to go away anytime soon. So health systems must be ready to address these two key factors if they want to minimize patient leakage and ensure continuity of care in the future. Here are four key takeaways from the study:
- Introducing diversified alternative sites of care should be a number-one priority for health systems looking to prevent patient leakage with infusion services.
- Optimizing oncology and non-oncology patient scheduling within each infusion center can help maximize existing chair utilization and expand infusion capacity.
- Leveraging both existing partnerships and future facility design are paramount for short- and long-term infusion planning.
- Launching home infusion programs and self-administered medication approvals are tactics worth considering for some patient populations. However, a centralized authorization team and an internal specialty pharmacy would be needed to ensure medication access and continuity of care.
Interested in learning more?
Review the full study, published in the National Library of Medicine:
Your partner for infusion success
Visante can help you navigate infusion complexities and costs – and build (or expand) an integrated program that meets your unique needs. We start with an assessment that offers a holistic look at your current infusion challenges and opportunities. Then we help you build your roadmap to success and grow your program. Contact us to learn more about how we can support your infusion needs. Email email@example.com or call (866) 388-7583 to speak to one of our team members.