Home infusion therapy: Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Get the answers to some of our most frequently asked home infusion questions.
Q. What is infusion therapy?
A. Infusion therapy is the delivery of medications into your body either through your bloodstream (intravenous or IV), under your skin (subcutaneous or intramuscular) or into the membranes surrounding your spinal cord (epidural).
Drug therapies commonly given by infusion include:
- Pain management
- Parenteral nutrition
- Immune globulin.
Diagnoses commonly requiring infusion therapy include infections that are unresponsive to oral antibiotics, cancer and cancer-related pain, gastrointestinal diseases or disorders which prevent normal functioning of the GI system, congestive heart failure, immune disorders, growth hormone deficiencies and more.
Q. Does Medicare cover home infusion?
A. Certain therapies are covered when administered using a mechanical or electronic infusion pump.
Only a select few therapies are covered and only under very specific conditions. These include antiviral therapies, some chemotherapies, some ionotropic therapies (i.e., dobutamine) and some pain management therapies.
For more information, visit What Medicare Covers on the Medicare web site.
Q. What is the difference between my Geisinger Home Infusion Services nurse and my home health nurse?
A. The Geisinger Home Infusion Services nurse will contact you and/or your caregiver at the start of care. They will do the initial teaching regarding your home infusion therapy and will contact you and/or your caregiver periodically throughout the course of the prescribed therapy.
Your home health nurse visits your home to assist with your therapy needs and continues teaching you and/or your caregiver, until you are comfortable with the infusion procedures. Your home health nurse should be the first person you call with questions regarding your therapy.
Q. Why can't I have a nurse come to my home to give me every dose of IV medication?
A. Home infusion helps you become independent and resume normal activities while recovering from an illness. It is important that you become independent in these procedures.
Q. Why is my home health agency discharging me from services?
A. Home health agencies can only provide services to you when you are homebound. When you return to work or makes frequent visits outside the home, the home health agency is required by law to discontinue home nursing services.
Q. Why is it important to count my infusion supplies?
A. Counting your supplies allows the infusion pharmacy service to know if you are performing your home infusion therapies correctly. It also prevents you from receiving an overabundance of supplies.
Q. Do I get my wound care supplies from Geisinger Home Infusion Services?
A. No. Geisinger Home Infusion Services only supplies those items required for your home infusion therapy.
If a home health agency is coming into your home for services, they may provide the wound care supplies to you.
Otherwise, you will need to contact your insurance company to assist you regarding coverage through a durable medical supplier in your area.
Q. How often will I talk to someone from Geisinger Home Infusion Services?
A. You will talk to Geisinger Home Infusion Services personnel at the start of care and at least weekly if you are to receive IV medications.
If you are receiving monthly growth hormone, enteral formula/supplies or catheter care supplies, you will speak to Geisinger Home Infusion Services personnel monthly. A Geisinger Home Infusion Services pharmacist, nurse and administrator are on call 24 hours a day to assist you, too