In this episode, Dylan McCabe interviews Kim Blasingame about her extensive experience as a practice manager for a large multi-location Neurology office and infusion suite in the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex. Kim shares how she navigated the changing landscape of office-based infusions from the launch of Tysabri and Ocrevus.
Transcript: How to navigate the ever-changing landscape of infusions with Kim Blasingame
Dylan McCabe: WeInfuse podcast, episode number 8, welcome to the WeInfuse podcast, where we take the confusion out of infusion. And each week we give you a behind the scenes look at the infusion industry and we interview industry experts and thought leaders and practitioners so that you can know what it’s like to be in the infusion landscape, how to simplify the whole situation, enforce best patient care, and also reduce risk. In this particular episode, we interviewed Kim Blasingame. She was practice administrator with Cain hall and Barry, a very high volume and innovative practice in Texas. And she gives a behind the scenes look at the challenges they faced the breakthroughs and the creative outlook they had with infusion therapy and really how their hearts were in it and how their hearts were really patient focused and how that helped them in tough times and when they had changes. And so she’s going to share some stories of a lot of changes. They face unforeseen changes. There’s no way they could have planned for these disruptions in their business model and in their patients getting access to these incredibly effective and expensive specialty biologics. And so that’s what we’re going to get into this interview. Let’s jump right into it. All right like I said, we have a special guest on the show today. Kim Blasingame, Kim was a former practice administrator for Cain hall, Barry infusion. They have a very high volume practice doing a lot of neurology patients and actually Cain hall Barry was the first WeInfuse client. They were a beta client. So Kim, thank you for being on the show.
Kim Blasingame: Thank you for having me. And we also have our co-host, Mr. Reece Norris with us today.
Reece Norris: Hey, good afternoon. Thanks for having us.
Dylan McCabe: So Kim, we were really glad to have you on the show because you have a lot of experience in this space. And even before we got on here, you were sharing stories of Tysabri and all this stuff, and it’s just really neat, but give our listeners just a little bit of background on you, kind of your experience in the infusion industry, where you started, what got you here?
Kim Blasingame: Okay. Well, most of my experience has been in the independent practice space, physician practices and outpatient facilities. And, it was, Cain hall, Barry neurology since 1995. And we got into infusion first, around, in the early 200s to serve our patients who had chronic terminating, inflammatory neuropathy. So as we started out by infusing IVIG and, we really got it ramped up when we were, anticipating Tysabri to come online to be approved by the FDA, which it was initially in 2004. So, it was the first biologic infusion drug for MS and it was more appropriate.
Reece Norris: It’s an incredible yea very exciting time.
Dylan McCabe: So, yeah. So you’ve definitely seen some changes take place since then.
Kim Blasingame: Yes lots of new therapies came online.
Dylan McCabe: Yeah. And I can’t wait to share the story that you shared pre show about Tysabri. What would you say today is, with everything you’ve experienced in the infusion practice and all the way out from the business side to the clinical side just helping all those moving parts, streamlining all those systems and pushing for best patient care, all the things you’ve been involved with, what would you say today is your, your main area of expertise?
Kim Blasingame: I’d like to think that my area of expertise is, being able to deliver value to patients and to the healthcare providers in an environment of tightening margins. So really for the past, I’d say seven years or so. It’s been all about, doing all those things and delivering that high quality care and doing it all within very tight margins, tighter than what we’re used to in the past.
Reece Norris: That’s for sure. Yeah. Reimbursement continues to decline and I’m going to put a plug in here for Cain hall, Barry. Not only were they the first beta client, but they’ve done a lot for my family personally, and Bryan Johnson’s family. And so, we’re very thankful for the practice and Kim’s leadership there. And, Kim and the practice were early on supporters of the National Infusion Center Association as well. So Kim and, her practice have been very, just involved, in the infusion landscape, trying to help form it. And, we’re just thankful that she’s on today, but also just thankful for your passion that you bring to that center. And just your leadership there was instrumental. So it’s been a great run we’re glad to have her today.
Kim Blasingame: Well, I was very thankful for, rescind for Bryan Johnson, early on ambulatory infusion is really an emerging market. And as you remember Reece back in the day, there, wasn’t a society there wasn’t an organization, a national organization for infusion centers, and you guys recognize the need for that too. And, it wasn’t there and so you and Bri went out and created it and created the national infusions centers association, which was a tremendous resource. And you guys were a tremendous resource.
Reece Norris: Well, I think that goes back to, we talked about this on one of our podcasts earlier is, they had their own infusion center. We had ours and we weren’t that far apart where we were 10 miles maybe. And so some people could look at us as competitors, but what we really saw as it was very synergistic, some of our patients would go there and vice versa. They would send us patients that for whatever reason they needed to refer out. And so I want to emphasize that to our audience listeners, that there’s a lot of, strength in numbers and you can learn a lot of best practices from each other. And, I think, when you have an infusion center down the street, don’t look at it necessarily as a competitor. Yes, they are to some extent as well, but when it comes to collaborating around national policy issues, state policy issues, they can be your best friend.
Dylan McCabe: That’s a really good point. And we get calls often from people who want to start infusion practice, and they need tips on that, on things that Reece just spoke about. And we also get calls from people that have infusion practices, obviously they’re interested in the software and then the more they talk about the software, they realize how the expertise that Reece and Bryan have, and then they want to tap us more, just for information and insight to have somebody looking over your shoulder to learn about these things. And so that kind of brings me back to what you mentioned when I said, what’s your main area of expertise you mentioned pushing for best patient care, but in a business model with tightening margins, what are some specifics on that for, for people that don’t know that maybe there’s somebody listening, that’s interested in starting an infusion practice, maybe a provider thinking I could start an infusion practice or whatever, what are some examples of those margins you’re talking about or?
Kim Blasingame: Oh gosh. Okay well ever since, the, ASP, Medicare came out with ASP, the average sales price, fee schedule back in, I think it was in 2005, the goal of that program was to create a 6% margin on drugs. So the ASP would gather data from the market and report it by manufacturers, distributors, and the idea was to figure out what the average sales price was for our drug. And then for the fee schedule to be that number plus 6%, and 6%, it’s a tight enough margin. But as it’s really, even tighter than that so, there kind of a cycle where, former pricing tends to increase on the ASP refreshes, once a quarter But one of the biggest, things that happened was that when sequestrations came into effect for our, Medicare population, it took so that, 6% margin, which was so kind of, it took 1.6% off that. So really the margin was 4.2%. And when you think about that, and you think about these very expensive drugs, one mistake, one missed pre-authorization one non-covered drug. It’s very hard to recover from that. And, and there’s so much that goes into the front end of that. And, making sure you got authorization from the carriers and making sure you’ve got everything clinically, set for the patient that all the I’s are dotted, all the T’s are crossed. And there was really in the market before WeInfuse came along, there was nothing. I mean, there were no software solutions for that. And I don’t want to beat up too much on the EHR vendors, because they’ve had such great challenges too keeping up with all the government, yeah. Keeping up with all that has been really incredible And we worked the next gen next gen did an incredible job as it continued to do an incredible job of keeping up with that and allowing us to, draw those measures and report those. And we did very well on that. So they’ve been excellent partner in that, but with all that they didn’t have, they just really didn’t have the resource to develop, EHR support for this emerging market for this emerging, business line in infusion.
Reece Norris: Awesome.
Dylan McCabe: Yeah. We talked to people about that too. When you look at what WeInfuse and you look at how it can export all that nurse’s data into like a billing note and how easy that makes billing. And we talk, I showed a large practice that yesterday and they said, wow, you guys are automatically converting those J codes to the proper billable units and all this stuff. And this is going to make billing so much easier and everything like that. And we talked about it for a while. You can make a mistake on the administration, but you make a mistake on one of those J codes and you’re in trouble. I mean, if that happens three or four times a year, you could just totally eliminate your profit.
Kim Blasingame: That’s a new feature we now take the nurses note and we convert it to billing note. But again, going back to what I said before Kim even went to us before we could even do things like that, within, WeInfuse so grateful that Kim, took the time to allow us to build the product and can help her infusion. One of the things I was going to say too, was to piggyback off Kim, whether you use WeInfuse or not you brought up great points. One is you gotta have all your T’s crossed and I’s dotted with, with a payer. whether that’s, pre-authorizations knowing your LCDs and if you’re billing Medicare, and then now that they are authorizing the treatment, but then they’re saying, okay, you can only treat this many times, or this have this many treatments or build this many units before you needed another off. And so whatever system you’re using, spreadsheet notes and your current HR, you’ve got to have this processes tied to your point, you lose one of these patients, I’ll try to patient you miss bill or don’t have properly authorized, or they don’t have active insurance. It’s devastating to a practice or can be.
Kim Blasingame: Yea it can be financially devastating. And so, the infusion business line it’s risky, it’s challenging, but it’s also some of the most rewarding work I did in that practice. I really, really enjoyed that. I really enjoy being able to bring new treatments to patients. We kind of developed a reputation of being, the first to bring new treatments to market. And, those treatments have come along. They just seem like they got scarier and scarier, (inaudible) with a 97% infusion reaction rate and, doing those things. But, it was important to be able to bring those new products to the market and make them available to patients. And I’ve been really happy to have the opportunity to be a part of that.
Reece Norris: No, tell us about your journey, I want to go back to her journey, Kim, you were saying about Tysabri and when it was launched and just, whether it was the reaction rates and whether it was just you guys navigating a brand new biologic drug in this space. I mean, rheumatologists may have been used to giving Remicade, but neurologist didn’t have a biologic drug at that point. So tell us about how you navigated that.
Kim Blasingame: No, we didn’t. So our only infusion experience up to that point, I’ve been (inaudible) and IVG, and Tysabri was approved by the FDA on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I believe it was 2004. And, WeInfuse the first dose on November 30th.
Dylan McCabe: That’s cool.
Kim Blasingame: it was infused every four weeks, but it had a high infusion reaction rate. And so about 20% of patients would have then anaphylactic reaction to the medication, which was really very serious. And I remember it was really a neat time in terms of collaborating all the MS specialists across the nation. The, Biogen had arranged and every either Tuesday or Thursday night, like 7 I think it was a seven o’clock. Because I remember it was late in the evening, so everybody could get together in all the time zones. And, they would all get together on, on a call, (inaudible) Southwestern in Colorado. And, all the specialists would get to get on the phone and they were all talking about how they were going to solve this problem as they infusion reactions. And they were talking about what they were seeing with the drug infusing the drug, and, trying to get together that the pre-medication protocol and how they were gonna stop these reactions from happening. And, they talk about this guy, who’s going to try this protocol and somebody else was going to try that and they’d meet back next week and talk about how it lands. And I think it was the guys at UT Southwestern that finally, kind of broke the code on the pre-medication protocol that we still use today that prevents those reactions. And, so it was a really neat time. And we had patients that have been infused in November, December, January, and then February 28th. We had patients that were coming in that day for their fourth infusion and these patients, they were getting better. If these were really severe, these were debilitated, MS Patients, they were having trouble ambulating or they were in wheelchairs, they were, but, they started getting this drug and they started getting better. They started being able to transfer to the chair on their own from. And, they were really seeing the difference and it really a pretty magical time. Once we got past all the infusion reactions and there was such a community among the patients, because they would all get infused together every four weeks. And, it was a really neat time. And then that day, February 28th, we got the notice that the drug was being pulled from market. Because the study patients started dying, you know, (interposed talking). From PML and I remember everybody go on what and I remember one of the docs at our practice, like running back to his library and pulling out his textbooks. Okay. I know I learned about this in med medical. Like what is that? Just look it up and people too what in the world is happening. And I remember that morning we got notification on like 7:30 in the morning. I remember the phones were going to come off answering service about 8. And I remember just kind of holding my breath to see what are the patients going to say because the patients have been notified. And I remember sitting there, I just feel like it just holding my breath watching 7:58 and 7:59 eight o’clock there it is. We turn the phones on and the patients did start calling, I didn’t know what they were going to say. I didn’t know if they’re going to say they talked me into taking this drug and people are dying and how can, I didn’t know what was going to happen, but the patients did start calling, but the conversation was very different and they really, they just, I remember it was such an emotional time. We had seven doses in the refrigerator I remember this and the patients started calling and they were just begging, please we’ll sign anything, any kind of release, just can we please come back and have the drug infused? Like we don’t care we know this but it’s making a difference in my life. I’m getting my life back and they really want it. It was so hard because, we had that seven doses and all these patients just, I mean, they were in tears. They were just, please sign anything, any kind of release any, and of course we couldn’t do it. It was the hardest thing sending those seven doses back.
Reece Norris: Yeah. I don’t know Dylan’s probably gonna ask you what the biggest challenges. There’s not many of them probably top that. And for our listeners, and I was somewhat involved in the business at this time. Tysabri was, I don’t remember, but it was one of the first drugs for a MS in a very long time. I can’t even remember.
Kim Blasingame: It was the first infused biologic.
Reece Norris: For MS and to see the results that were happening with these patients and to have that taken away from them. I can’t even imagine but ultimately I think, again, that’s an, talking about how advocacy can help, a lot of those patients mobilized and ultimately, basically forced the government’s hand to put the drug back on the market. So did you have any help in that or were you involved in, helping coordinating those efforts with your patients? Or how did y’all handle that interim time period before went back on the market?
Kim Blasingame: Yea I don’t think we coordinated any of that. The patients MS patients are they’re advocates. There’s something about that group of people in there. They have such a strong community and they, I don’t think they needed our help. I know it didn’t seem like, but we were watching the data and watching the research and we’re so pleased that the FDA fast track that drug again and had it back on the market in18 months. And of course we had the patients all ready to go.
Reece Norris: So it came back on the market in 18 months, but then they come back on with a REMS program.
Kim Blasingame: It did come back on, with a REMS program. And that was our first experience with that this was all a brave new world. I mean, inventory just wasn’t a thing back then. Yeah.
Reece Norris: And especially in neurology.
Kim Blasingame: Especially in neurology no, it wasn’t. And we would infuse for other neurologists patients and things like, because, I was kind of pointing to, gosh, you know how to do this and how to, and we’re like, we’ll take you, we’ve always done that. We’ve always taken outside orders. If there’s somebody, even for the med school, for patients that were, in our closer to our geographic area, if that was helpful to them, we’ve always been willing to do that because I mean, MS Patients are, there’s just something about that. The MS Provider community it’s like their our patients. Yeah.
Reece Norris: Yeah. It’s not my patients, our patient yea absolutely.
Kim Blasingame: Yeah. And that’s always been a very cohesive, group of people that serve MS patients.
Reece Norris: And just for our listeners, the REMS program is now called the touch program. Correct. And don’t, you have to be registered as your infusion site. So if you’re an infusion center wanting to treat a patient, that’s been prescribed Tysabri you have to be part of the touch program, which Biogen runs and facilitates correct?
Kim Blasingame: Yea they do.
Reece Norris: It’s been a while since I’ve operated, but those details are still in mind.
Kim Blasingame: It was a good program. I didn’t even know we talked about it. It was the first time that we dealt with anything like that. And I remember, it just, the last year we had the first MS drug release without a REMS program. We almost didn’t know what to do without that.
Reece Norris: And that was (inaudible).
Kim Blasingame: Yes. It was released without a REMS program. I thought, well, what do we, because we had become so used to doing that. And it was really a great resource for us. They helped us. They provide a lot of support for, as patients were registered through that the patients had all the support and, the tracking on everybody.
Reece Norris: Yeah forces this accountability and this transparency. And, and the data is all streamlined. So yea most programs from that standpoint.
Kim Blasingame: Right. And it also gave people, a place of somebody want to prescribe it. They want it to find an infusion site. They just check a box on the form and the program would reach out and find, match the patients up. And then, when we didn’t have that anymore, there’s no struggle. We’re like, wow, how are we? Wow, how’s, how’s this going to work? But it did well, that was a great drug. WeInfused the first dose in Taron County.
Reece Norris: First dose of
Kim Blasingame: and that was a first drug that was so huge. That was the first drug for patients with primary progressive MS. Which is a particularly nasty form of MS.
Reece Norris: And ever or years. I mean, I just,
Kim Blasingame: It was the first time ever, treatment approved for primary progressive MS.
Reece Norris: And I’ve read articles of patients that are just seeing just awesome results on that drug. And, that’s what infusion centers are doing that to your point. That’s what makes it such a passion, so much passion comes to serving these patients. So it’s awesome.
Dylan McCabe: That’s a great story. And so in the midst of all that, when you guys were navigating that what’s one nugget of wisdom, you would want our listeners to take away from that story.
Kim Blasingame: Oh, for that story,
Dylan McCabe: Just going through all that with Tysabri just the whole, I mean, that’s quite a dramatic story.
Kim Blasingame: Well, you really have to have your heart in it. You really have to have your heart in it. And, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for that, but, it’s a risky, scary, but so worth it.
Dylan McCabe: So worth it.
Reece Norris: We tell folks that reach out to us all the time that this, to your point, this business is not for the faint of heart. Yes. You’re serving a need. And obviously if there’s an Alzheimer’s drug, that which they’re anticipating being on the market, I mean the delivery channel is just, there’s not enough capacity to serve it. And so there’s a lot of demand, but to your point the margins are tight, you’ve got to run a very, very tight ship. If you’re going to enter this business and you heart better be with the patient put the patient first, because ultimately that’s, what’s the most important. So we try to say those things when we talk to our prospective clients, but you are the best.
Kim Blasingame: And the thing I want to say too, about WeInfuse it’s not just a software. And I don’t know if you want me to say that.
Reece Norris: We actually see that’s awesome that you said that thank you.
Kim Blasingame: But having, having you guys there, I mean, we’ve been doing infusion for a long time and you guys came in and, identified some things that, we had missed and thinking, Oh my gosh. And is a thing, is that, it didn’t feel like a software vendor to us. You felt like a partner and in the adventure with us and, and really the beta testing time, that was a really cool time. That was a cool time. I mean, oh gosh, the developers, you had the two guys.
Reece Norris: (inaudible) and alexander.
Kim Blasingame: Were in our infusion suite hanging out with our patients, making friends with the patients, hanging out with the nurses and, just watching the flows and seeing what they were, and listen to the nurses.
Reece Norris: They we go back to the hotel that night and code.
Kim Blasingame: They would take turns. They had the dog and the dogs at the hotel, they would take turns. They would go, right. They would go back at night and do other kinds. They bring some back in the morning and, roll it out to the nurses and the nurses, but they were right with them watching the workflows. So they could really see how they were delivering these services and what was important and what information they needed. And really, I imagine they learned a lot.
Reece Norris: Oh my gosh, of course. And so funny so when that all took place, I remember calling my dad and be like, okay, we’re going, live at Cain hall Berry. And the guys are gonna come up from Austin and we need to stock the rooms. Cause they’re gonna be up, we’re not gonna sleep much. And so we went out and went to sands and just bought bunch of caffeinated drinks and, lots of snacks and, and they were set up well. And yea Bryan Johnson, Alexander and Dana were there.
Kim Blasingame: I remember our patients were festive for a while if you guys left. Because they were like, where is Alexander?
Reece Norris: Part of the family.
Kim Blasingame: Yea they were part of the family.
Dylan McCabe: That’s cool. That is such a cool story
Kim Blasingame: I hope it was.
Reece Norris: Oh my gosh. It was, I mean, we still talk about it. So I mean you’ll never forget your first client and the first person that takes a risk on you and believes in you. And so thank you. It was a very, very fun time.
Dylan McCabe: That was such a cool story that’s the first time I heard that.
Kim Blasingame: I still remember that phone call.
Reece Norris: I know exactly where I was when I asked you if you’d be our beta client, I was out of here.
Kim Blasingame: Do you remember how that call went? What do you remember about it?
Reece Norris: Well, so I just remember, I was walking through it, trying to put on a sales pitch and then at some point you just go, yea we’ll do it. And I was like, no way. I was just like, yeah,
Kim Blasingame: Yeah. I remember that. That’s funny that you say that because I remember where I was sitting and we don’t really have like assigned offices like I was in (inaudible) office. And it was kind of whether it was first come first serve kind of you get the first desk you to get there on top. And I remember sitting there and talking about it, I thought, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that. But what was I going to say? But yes I mean, you know.
Reece Norris: It was a passionate plea for me to say like what we’re doing.
Kim Blasingame: I remember my people when I told them what we were going to do they were like have you lost your mind? And I said, well, I don’t know, what are we going to do?
Reece Norris: I don’t know if the IT team ever forgave us, but hey, we got it done.
Kim Blasingame: You know what our it director said, well, here’s the thing. There’s nothing else out there and we need a solution. And I can’t believe I’m saying, I remember I saying that, I can’t believe I’m saying that, but okay, let’s do that.
Reece Norris: It was a great journey. It was really, really cool.
Kim Blasingame: And it was really cool those were good times.
Reece Norris: And yes so we were at this, we’re in our Dallas office now, but we had a loft office in Richardson. So just imagine this really small room, that’s a converted attic, space is where I was at the time. And so I, that’s where I was when I called you so since then, we’ve now got some new digs. They’re not huge, but we’re definitely not in the attic anymore of a converted. So we’re, we’re moving up at all the Kim and her practice taking the first leap of faith.
Kim Blasingame: It’s was so neat to see you guys succeeding and watched the post and I see rolling this out and the people, then I hear stories like Iris Zinc, Oh my gosh, I called Dylan after that. And I was like, I can’t believe I’m going to do (inaudible) I can’t follow her. That was such a great story. And there’s (inaudible) people that have that kind of passion to really bring these services to patients and really do something. And, Oh my gosh, is her stories were just so heartbreaking and serving that Medicaid population a population, that had not been served and didn’t have access to care and didn’t have access to drug and getting in there. And, I know how scary that is getting in there like that. And just, and she hung up.
Reece Norris: She just rolled up her sleeves.
Kim Blasingame: Gosh, what a brave woman. But, there’s a lot, a lot of brave people, brave patients too, out there. And, it’s been really neat and, since the early days of Tysabri rolled out other, biologic infusion drugs, even outside of our specialty, you know? So, because I guess once we kinda got the hang of infusing new biologics, we kind of got the, I guess the reputation with the (27:54inaudible) being, a place to go because they always have to have a delivery channel for those, but we were infusing, for rheumatologists and for different people. But it’s just really neat to see all that.
Reece Norris: I want to tell our listeners that, Kim had experienced yes in the neurology space, but, but Cain hall, Barry fusion treats patients from, from all specialties. So rheumatology, gastroenterology, and immunology, which not all practices, do that some do and I think you bring a unique perspective because not only if you launched drugs in the neurology space or been around, when drugs have been launched in the neurology space, but I don’t, y’all do Actemra as well. So I’m sure you went through that one.
Kim Blasingame: Actemra we had Krystexxa Benlysta it’s kind of a fun thing. We got to the, dr. Bear and fusion medical director and w Cooper reserved fusion manager, and we’d get together, they roll out a new drug it and be like, okay guys, we got to learn about lupus, we got our nurses together. And everything is like, Oh, there’s a new drug for lupus. And we’re going to be the delivery channel study up, and or learn about RA and the nurses loved it. They go to the annual conferences, the CMSE conferences and things like that. And they they’re really well educated in these areas. And they’re like, Hey, we got a new agent. We’re going to learn about gal Krystexxa. So that’s why I didn’t even have it, but we had to learn it.
Reece Norris: That’s awesome. That’s a good point for our listeners too. Like how valuable conferences are, CMSC, WeInfuse attends or has attended the last two years. And we learned something every time. I mean, you’re, around not only your peers, there’s great lectures. So we encourage our listeners to do the same. If you’re in the neurology space, he’s a great one. There are a lot of great conferences. National infusion center association will have its first conference hits June, just a shameless plug there. So NICA will have its first conference in June, 2019. So we’re excited. So it’d be really, really, really excited about it, but whatever conference you choose, make sure you attend those. And then typically they’ll have some piece of infusion or a new drug or, there’s a learning opportunity, typically all of these conferences, which is great. So yeah.
Kim Blasingame: As the CMSA that consortium for MS specialist is someone that I’ve attended several, several years in a row now. And I, we treat multiple sclerosis patients and there been so many new, things on the market. I mean, there are 14 different drugs on the market. It’s been really, it’s been such a huge change when I started in neurology and MS was there was a diagnosis. It was like, she, I’m sorry, there’s this wasn’t a lot that we were preparing them to just decline, you know? And that was terrible this changed everything, when these things started coming along and, and patients were getting. But the provider groups the CMSC, it’s really amazing camaraderie between the people that are running these MS centers and, and you even see retired people. They haven’t treated patients but they’re still coming because they still, maybe they’re not practicing anymore. Maybe they’re 80 years, but so many of them it’s like, they’re still coming because it’s still a passion.
Reece Norris: That’s really cool. And we saw that each year we attended. It’s really neat.
Kim Blasingame: It’s a neat thing.
Dylan McCabe: Those conferences are great. And if it’s one of the big national conferences stopped by our booth, we’ll probably be there. You’ll see it on LinkedIn. There’s no need to see it second hand just stop by the booth, well, tell us this. Let’s maybe, just share another story, a short story here with your, all these experiences you’ve had. What’s a big light bulb moment you’ve had being in this specific, clinical setting where you have this unique factor of you got this amazing clinical setting, but you also have this business side with these tight margins where you can’t make mistakes. What’s been one of the biggest light bulb moments in that context?
Kim Blasingame: Hmm. I thought about that a lot and I don’t know, light bulb moment, I guess it’s just, I don’t know if it’s really a light bulb moment, but just, coming to that realization that it’s like, it’s really worked well for us. It’s like, you always just have to do what’s right for the patient first, then be really, watching those margins, know your numbers, hire good people, develop them, engage them where they feel like it’s their own. And then, the financial success will follow it gets scary from time to time, but, you can’t lead with that in mind that financial success in mind, you have to lead with serving patients first with these tools and certainly really infuse and guys to support, that’s certainly a great foundation for success for anyone.
Dylan McCabe: It’s so good because that’s, our passion is enabling providers to focus on the patient side and not be snagged or weighed down or stressed out about the financial part and all the moving parts and all the gears in the machine of the business side of it. Because our software platform and what WeInfuse tries to bring to the table is just the ability to simplify that whole process so that the nurses can focus on those patients and not worry about, Oh, did I calculate the right amount of wastage? Or did I make sure I got the billing team to get all the process done in the benefits investigation process? Well, we want to simplify that so you can focus on the patient. And so it’s just great to hear you reiterate that because that’s supposed to be the focus at the end of the day, and you just shared some amazing stories. I mean, patients begging for these therapies because it changed their lives. And so that’s why we’re all in it. So it’s so great. There’s so much we could share. There’s so much more we could cover.
Reece Norris: She brought us to our office today and I’m encouraging Kim to share that on our LinkedIn profile about the future of her vision for her practice. But ultimately I think it could be a roadmap for a lot of, a lot of practices, value based care, and patient reported outcomes. There’s just a lot in there that there could unpack. So follow him on LinkedIn and get a glimpse of that article. It’s going to be really good.
Dylan McCabe: That’s great. Yeah. And I’ll remember to say that, how can people get in touch with you after this? Remind me to say that if I don’t say it, what’s one last parting piece of advice for our listeners.
Kim Blasingame: Oh gosh.
Reece Norris: Patient first, right?
Kim Blasingame: Yeah.
Dylan McCabe: It’s hard to distill it down to one thing.
Kim Blasingame: I think they covered it all you would ask what was my light bulb moment? I thought, what was that? I think there was one after we had implemented the WeInfuse product when we were still going through developments and things like that. And, the nurses were still, and we know that, and then one day Judy Black. I asked the nurses, she said well if you had your choice to go back to the way you did it before on paper or whatever, what would you do? And she said, oh, no, I’m not giving it up. And I said we’re keeping this. So that was, that was a great moment.
Dylan McCabe: Well, Judy brings a lot of wisdom with her.
Kim Blasingame: She’s wonderful. You guys have a really great team, yeah.
Reece Norris: Yeah. Well, thank you, Kim. And thank you for joining us today. We’re super thrilled to have you. And I mean there are not many folks that have been on the cutting edge of infusion to your point since that’s a factor in 2000. So thank you so much for your time today.
Kim Blasingame: Thank you.
Dylan McCabe: Yeah. Thanks for being on the show. And again, we can connect with Kim on LinkedIn, Kim Blasingame check out that article she wrote. And, again, thanks for bringing your expertise to the podcast because we really just want this to be a resource for anybody involved in the infusion practice. And I know a lot of people got inspiration and some, some helpful knowledge today so thanks a lot.
Reece Norris: Thank you.
Kim Blasingame: Thank you.
Dylan McCabe: All right. That concludes our interview with Kim. And as you can see, the infusion practice is an ever changing landscape and you have to be ready. You have to be creative, you have to be flexible. And if your heart is in it, it is a worthwhile endeavor. Of course, it’s a great business model. It’s one of the best delivery channels for life-changing therapies. And I hope you got a lot of value from the things that Kim shared, if you haven’t already definitely check out our website Weinfuse.com. We have free resources. We have very insightful blog posts written by our founders that have to do with billing with the latest cutting edge issues and infusion therapy. And if you haven’t done so yet, definitely schedule a demo of our software. You can schedule a short 30 minute call just to kind of assess the needs of your infusion practice, to see where there might be some gaps in the process. And then if that’s a helpful conversation, you can move on to schedule a demo of the software. We’d love to hear from you and, and help you to streamline your infusion practice. Thank you for joining us. And we will catch you in the next episode.
Guest Speaker: Kim Blasingame, FACMPE currently works as Performance Improvement Lead at Optum, a health services and innovations company. Prior to joining Optum, Kim worked in oncology and hematology at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, as well as neurology and infusion at Kane Hall Barry Neurology.