|July 12, 2006|
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) today introduced the Medicare Home Infusion Therapy Consolidated Coverage Act. The bill would require Medicare to cover all aspects of home infusion therapy under Part B—the drugs, supplies, equipment and professional services necessary to provide home infusion therapy in a safe and effective manner.
Patients suffering from cancer, congestive heart failure, serious infections, and other conditions often require infusion therapy, which involves the administration of drugs directly into the bloodstream via a needle or catheter. Decades ago, this type of treatment could only be provided in hospitals. For the past twenty years, however, patients with private health coverage have been able to receive this treatment in the home with outstanding results and at much lower cost than hospital care. Unfortunately, due to policies that deny coverage for the professional services, specialized equipment and supplies required to properly administer home infusion drugs, Medicare patients have not been able to take advantage of home infusion therapy. Instead, they are being forced into hospitals and skilled nursing facilities for treatment at great inconvenience to the patient and at increased cost to Medicare and the taxpayers. Congresswoman Granger’s bill would correct this situation by ensuring that home infusion equipment, supplies and services are properly covered and paid for under Medicare Part B.
“This bill would enable Medicare beneficiaries to avoid hospitalizations and obtain safe and cost-effective treatment in their homes while giving Medicare the opportunity to achieve the same efficiencies and positive outcomes that home infusion therapy has brought to private sector patients for decades,” said Granger.
Furthermore, the bill would reduce the risk to Medicare beneficiaries of receiving drugs from entities that do not meet well-established standards of care. Complex intravenous therapies that require extensive clinical services, care coordination, equipment and supplies should be administered in adherence to stringent quality standards of care. By consolidating coverage of home infusion therapy under Part B of Medicare, Congresswoman Granger’s bill would ensure that beneficiaries are protected by the quality safeguards and standards commonly used by commercial health plans.
Granger is joined by Representatives Eliot Engel (D-New York), Randy Kuhl (R-New York) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) in introducing this legislation.
Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittees. She also serves as a Deputy Majority Whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving her fifth term in Congress.