IV INSIGHTS – Infusion Center Blog

Take the Confusion Out of Infusion

Welcome to IV Insights Infusion Center Blog – A collection of posts, features, and Infusion Center News from our founders, team, and guest writers from the industry. These posts serve to provide both insights and discussions around how we can all learn to Infuse Better for our Infusion Center profitability and our patients. Have an idea or suggestion you would like to see discussed in our Infusion Center Blog? Email us through our contact form and lets talk.

For the practice-based infusion suites and stand-alone Infusion Centers, keeping patients compliant with their treatment schedules results in better clinical outcomes and improves the financial health of their business models. While treatment compliance is important with traditional oral medications or therapeutic injectables, it is paramount with specialty injectables and IVIG therapies.

Specialty medications, including biologics and IVIG, carry a substantially higher cost than traditional therapeutic injectables. These medications mostly treat patients with Chronic Autoimmune Diseases who require frequent, interval-based treatments. The combination of high cost and chronic repeated interval scheduling raises the stakes for practices who manage these medications in the

Next to quantum theory, I would put infusion and infusion billing in a close second place for complexity. I recently published an article around billing for infusion procedures in an attempt to simplify some of the confusion. If you missed my first installment The Confusion of Infusion Billing, it’s worth going back and taking a quick glance to understand where I am coming from.

If you have mastered infusion administration billing, then you are ready to move on to billing for the infusion and injection medications themselves. While not a walk in the park, I find that billing for the medication

I have been in and around medical billing for over 15 years in various practices and ambulatory healthcare services, and I would never tell anyone that medical billing is a simple or logical process. However, with some practical study and a little experience, anyone can eventually learn the nuances of full-revenue cycle medical billing for most medical services.

Having said that, infusion billing continues to frustrate me even after many years of study and experience. I have personally overseen $100+ million of infusion and specialty injection claims, and still I have to be very careful to slow down when explaining the

As a common guy and macho father of 2 young boys, I tend to have an "instructions optional" attitude about putting together new kid toys and the boxed furniture my beautiful bride brings home from IKEA. One of the few times I actually did read the instructions, I ended up with extra parts in my hand and had to watch in horror as my hastily assembled TV stand came crashing down with the new 50" HD set on top. Fortunately for our clients and their patients, I have quite the opposite approach when it comes to infusion orders and our

Based on overwhelming feedback on our original Blog Post - Considerations for Opening an In-Office Infusion Center, we decided to reboot the original article and re-post it here with some minor edits. We are continuing to help new and existing Infusion Centers open and improve across the country. If you have ever considered opening or expanding your own in-office Infusion Center or Infusion Suite, take a moment to read below. 

If you are a physician-based practice and have been thinking about opening an in-office Infusion Center (aka Infusion Suite) for your patients, we wrote this post especially for you. Creating an

Its the most wonderful time of the year!   ...unless you are in charge of ordering infusion medication and medical supplies for your patients. 🙂

This is a courtesy reminder to all of our blog readers that normal expectations for medication and medical supply deliveries should be moderated to include delays caused by increased holiday shipping. For those offices who like to run their "just-in-time" inventory at one-day to same-day availability, we would advise them to consider increasing their days on hand of inventory an extra day or two in consideration of these expected delays.

Black Friday, Amazon, the start of winter weather

You may find it surprising that there is a $100+ billion dollar healthcare delivery model that you have never heard of. That’s right, “Billion” with a “B”. Unless you or someone you know has a rare chronic disease, you likely have never heard of this amazing (and expensive) group of specialty biologic medications delivered primarily by intravenous infusion or injection through non-oncology Infusion Centers and Infusion Suites.

Even if you have never heard the term: “autoimmune disease” (AD for short), you likely are familiar with Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriasis. It’s less likely you have heard of

Are you confident that your infusion biller is 99% accurate in capturing the high-dollar medications documented by your infusion nurse? Are your infusion nurses 99% accurate in their treatment documentation? Is your inventory management 99% accurate?
The problem is, 99% could be costing you up to 30-40% of your infusion profit every month. If you think that sounds dramatic, give me a few more minutes and I will prove it to you. I’ll also give you the tools to review this in your own practice.

Most offices would be proud of 99% accuracy, as they should be. In-office infusion management is no

The recipe for making a great nurse has always been knowledge combined with continued experience and a desire to never stop learning. For the modern infusion nurse, the ingredients for this recipe calls for a triple portion of knowledge and a heavy measure of flexibility. Infusion nursing has become a very specialized field in the past decade as infusion patients and their new treatments are now more complex than ever before. In the past, infusion nurses found themselves in the field of infusion nursing mainly because they developed skill in placing an IV line. Today, the modern infusion nurse must

Flushing and locking vascular access devices (VADs) are 2 common procedures performed on patients receiving treatment in infusion centers. Flushing is the act of moving fluids, medications, blood, and blood components out of the VAD to ensure treatment delivery and assess for patency. Locking, on the other hand, is the installation of a solution into a VAD to maintain patency during periods of nonuse. While the actual procedure is not complicated and is viewed as easy to do, performing the correct steps and the rationale for doing so may be overlooked.

Because of its invasive nature, infusion therapy is risky. VADs

At WeInfuse, we think the annual Magellan Trend Reports are manna from heaven. This year’s report is no different, and it’s full of gold nuggets that prove the physician / provider-based Infusion Center is the optimal site of care providing patients quality, convenient and cost-effective care. Whether you operate a sstand-aloneInfusion Center or provide infusions as a part of your practice, the entire report is a MUST read.



How can you use this years report?

Use it when advocating for your Infusion Center and the delivery channel at large
Use it to negotiate with your payers for better rates since Infusion

A few weeks ago we wrote about the importance of monitoring temperatures for infusion medications. I hate to propose problems without solutions so in this post we will be telling you about our experience with one of the best solutions we found to the temperature monitoring problem. In this post, we will review the TempAlert wireless monitoring system. I ran across the TempAlert system about 6 months ago while doing some research for our IV Insights Blog post on managing and monitoring medication inventories. I spoke to a representative at TempAlert who was kind enough to send us a demo

As nurses, we want it to be correct! It must be clear, concise, comprehensive and complete. There are many new innovative technologies that have evolved over the years to improve both the accuracy and ease of prescribing medications. Electronic scripts, E-Prescribing, EMR's and pharmacy automation systems have greatly improved a medical provider's ability to prescribe medications rapidly and accurately to whoever needs the information to fulfill the script. Having these technologies makes our life easier and helps reduce errors, BUT……



THE INFUSION PRESCRIPTION PROBLEM
Unfortunately, electronic systems to prescribe in-office administered medications, especially biologic and specialty medications that are given intravenously

I have visited many practices and Infusion Centers that have gone to great lengths to protect their facilities from would be intruders - installing special locks, key fobs, and various alarm and surveillance equipment. While it is important to physically secure items in your facilities, theft of property is not what should keep most of you up at night. In any single day, many of you carry somewhere between $50,000 and $500,000 of medications in your infusion medication inventories. The biggest likely threat to this expensive inventory is not theft, but destruction caused by nature or negligence.

You might find it

If you work in a physician-based practice and have been thinking about opening an in-office infusion center for your patients we wrote this post especially for you. Deciding to open an Infusion Center is not the same as deciding to offer vaccines, sonograms, or many other ancillary services. Infusion requires careful consideration and commitment, so we have created a quick primer on the requirements, costs, and commitments you must be willing to make in order to be successful in opening your Infusion Center doors.

What defines the term Infusion Center? If the practice has some minimum space and/or personnel dedicated

In the past few months, I have asked practices and practice managers all over the country to do a simple test to see if their in-office Infusion Centers are leaking money. I ask them to secretly remove a single vial of expensive medication from their inventory and then see how long it takes someone on their staff to notice the missing vial.

The test is a dead simple way of checking one of the most fundamental systems every Infusion Center must have which is inventory reconciliation. If your Infusion Center is not reconciling purchased inventory against billed patient claims and against

When was the last time you did the math on the dollars worth of infusion medication inventory in your practice? If you're like most providers, you likely have 10’s to 100’s of thousands of dollars of temperature controlled inventory occupying the very small and fragile square footage of your infusion center refrigerator. In this post, we are discussing some of the practical steps that providers can take to minimize loss and properly monitor temperature controlled medications in their offices.

At one point in the not so distant past, I was responsible for a daily inventory of over $1.2 million dollars

In previous posts, we have discussed the merits of both Buy&Bill and Specialty Pharmacy inventory strategies for your office Infusion Center.  If you missed our previous writings, you should take a moment to read our previous posts for some context To Buy&Bill or not to Buy&Bill and Specialty Pharmacy is your friend. If you are brand new to infusion or have been providing infusions in your office for many years, the strategies you choose to manage your inventory will have a profound impact both on your office team and your bottom line.

In a previous post, we highlighted the opportunities in the

I have a “like” (never love) and “hate” relationship with Specialty Pharmacies. Likewise, there are infusion providers that wouldn’t accept a Specialty Pharmacy shipment under any condition and others who wouldn’t Buy&Bill a medication if it cost more than $20 a vial.

Our last post provided a brief overview of both Buy&Bill and Specialty Pharmacy (“SpecRx”) strategies for the in-office or stand-alone Infusion Center provider. In that writing, we mostly focused on why and when you should consider a Buy&Bill inventory strategy to leverage your practice profitability. If you missed it, take a moment to read our previous post To

Rapid changes in commercial medication reimbursements, the uncertainty of Medicare payment policies, and an influx of new biologic and specialty medications have many providers re-thinking their medication inventory strategies in an effort to balance or avoid risk while continuing to provide their patients access to infusible and injectable medications in their office-based Infusion Centers. This series of posts will look at the differences in these inventory strategies and address the merits of each in an effort to help providers better understand and think about which combination of strategies best fits the needs of their practice and patients.

Infusion Center providers

With all the amazing technological advances in healthcare, many medications still require the one-on-one human touch of a skilled nurse to deliver them intravenously to patients. I have been blessed to spend my entire career among these healthcare heroes as they improve patient lives one infusion at a time. Having owned and operated a multi-site provider based Infusion Center company, I experienced firsthand the vital role Infusion nurses and Infusion Centers play in patients’ lives. I believe in the Infusion Center as it provides the healthcare system with a win-win-win solution: the patient wins, the provider wins and the payer