NHIA finalizes standardized definitions for home infusion services

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Advisory program makes data reporting more uniform

As part of an ongoing data quality initiative to establish benchmarks and improve care, the National Home Infusion Assn. (Alexandria, VA) has issued a “Standard Definitions for Patient Outcomes” compendium that addresses five key performance criteria in home infusion:

  • Unplanned Hospitalizations
  • Emergency Department Use
  • Adverse Drug Reaction
  • Access Device Events
  • Medication Error
  • Discharge Reasons

By standardizing how issues such as adverse drug reactions, catheter events or proximate patient outcomes are reported, NHIA hopes that the definitions will provide a context for what has occurred and its impact on patient care. Additionally, “The home and specialty infusion industry will take an important step toward describing and quantifying the value of home infusion as a critical component of the community-based health care continuum,” said NHIA president, Tyler Wilson, in a statement.

The definitions are being offered as an advisory service; no enforcement of their use is planned, and in some cases, the definitions overlap with what other organizations (including FDA, which, for example, has procedures for adverse event reporting) require. “Several commercial payers have approached NHIA about developing quality measures for home infusion,” notes Nancy Kramer, VP of clinical affairs. “Most payers thus far have indicated they are supportive of using the NHIA standardized data sets as the basis for developing performance metrics to be used in value-based purchasing programs for home infusion.”

Home infusion is a vital part of the administration of some specialty pharmaceuticals, especially with the push toward more outpatient care and more patient-centric services from the pharma industry and specialty pharmacies. NHIA counts nearly 300 providers among its national membership, as well as dozens of manufacturers, payers and health systems in its corporate partners. The association’s national meeting is coming up: March 21-24 in New Orleans.

The standard definitions are viewable here.

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