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The Changing Landscape of Infusion Therapy for Gastroenterology

Posted by oiinfusion on Mar 15, 2019 2:51:47 PM

There are many references throughout history to digestive processes, digestive system pathology, condition and meaning of food, and magical procedures thought to contribute to nutrition in the oldest papyruses, in the Bible, in ancient Chinese and Indian medical papers and especially in classical manuscripts of Greeks and Roman physicians. [1]

While mankind has been aware and addressing issues of the gut and intestines for many many years, the pharmaceutical options were a bit stagnant prior to the 1950s. In 1955 the first study establishing the success of corticosteroid in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), which includes Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC), was published. Additional anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs were developed during this time as well. However, the big breakthrough came when molecular techniques revealed that the cytokine ‘tumor necrosis factor alpha’ (TNF-α) plays a central role in the IBD inflammatory process [2].

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Infusion as a Major Treatment Option for IBD

Once the source of inflammation was identified, anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibodies were developed to inhibit the action of TNF-α. The FDA approved the use of infusion drug Infliximab (Remicade®) in 1998 for treatment of IBD patients. Ten years later Natalizumab (Tysabri®) was approved for treatment in the US, and in 2014, Vedolizumab (Entyvio™) was approved for treatment in the US.

These new infusion options ushered in a huge change in how IBD patients are treated. With the switch to infusion based medication, the infrastructure of the infusion landscape for this specialty should be considered as the rise in patient infusion continues. The referral model of sending patients out for infusion to either a hospital or a third party location results in a ton of extra administrative work, lack of consistent patient care, and a constant battle for reimbursements.

Infusion therapy is rapidly expanding among gastroenterologists with recently launched drugs such as Entyvio (vedolizumab) (inhibits leukocyte trafficking), xeljanz (tofacitinib) and Stelara (ustekinumab).

The Switch to Outsourced In-Office Infusion

It’s time to make the switch from a referral based model to bringing infusion treatment in-house. Moving infusion treatment into your office is a better fit for treating patients. The follow up, the care, it’s all under one roof and can be properly managed. However, trying to incorporate infusion on your own is like adding a start-up business to your practice. There is a much better, more fluid, and safer financial option to setting up an in-office infusion center: outsourcing the management. By outsourcing the management piece, you and your staff can focus on what really matters - patient care.

Icon_drip Treatment Benefits [3] 
  • High-quality care in a comfortable and familiar setting
  • Allows for monitoring of adverse events surveillance and supervision by their physician
  • Allows optimized follow-up care
  • Ability to educate both nurses and patients on the infusion drugs being used
Icon_clipboard Administrative Benefits
  • No time managing prior authorizations
  • No more finding infusion sites for patients
  • No more fighting denials
  • More time to dedicate to new initiatives
Icon_doctor Physician Benefits
  • Increased revenue for your practice
  • Reduced financial risk
  • Reduced clinical liability to the practice
  • Improved patient-physician relationships
Icon_hand Patient Benefits
  • Greater patient compliance
  • Improved patient satisfaction
  • Better patient experience
  • The comfort of their physician nearby

Want to learn more about outsourcing infusion management for your practice?

Schedule a consultation for  in-office infusion management

References

[1] JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY 2003, 54, S3, 921

[2] https://academic.oup.com/ecco-jcc/article/8/5/341/616781

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3882956/#i1537-2073-13-2-95-b24 

Topics: Gastroenterology, General Infusion Information, In-Office Infusions