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Posted on 17. March 2022

IG Infusions in the Home Setting

By Abbie Cornett

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Recently, I taped a podcast with the executive vice president of sales for Nufactor, a specialty infusion company on the growing trend of immune globulin therapy, also referred to as IG Infusions in the Home Setting. The podcast focused on what information both patients and providers need to know before transitioning to the home.

The first consideration is the route of administration. IG can be administered intravenously or subcutaneously. If a patient is treated with subcutaneous infusions, it's a given that the patient will infuse in the home setting almost 100 percent of the time because it's considered a self-administered drug. When IG is administered intravenously, however, it can take place in the home or in several other settings such as infusion centers or hospitals. One of the most significant factors when determining the setting is healthcare coverage and what the patient's policy will allow based on his or her diagnosis. Every health plan has a medical policy that outlines how IG therapy is covered. Recently, there has been a growing trend of payers nudging patients to infuse at home because it is more cost effective than outpatient therapy.

Other considerations include brand preference and patient lifestyle. Brand preference can be based on several factors, including past experiences with a specific brand, physician preference and the health plan's formulary product. In terms of lifestyle, the home setting is frequently more convenient because the patient can infuse on his or her own schedule.

If it is determined the home setting is appropriate, the patient's physician needs to make a referral to a home infusion specialty pharmacy provider. It is important to remember that the therapy must be submitted for prior authorization of the patient's health plan. As mentioned, there may or may not be a formulary product. The brand determination will be based on the patient's assessment, any other conditions or allergies, or prior use of IG.

Because IG is so expensive, it is vital patients are aware of what their financial responsibility is prior to receiving treatment. Patients frequently receive bills for tens of thousands of dollars because either a hospital outpatient infusion company or a specialty pharmacy is out of network. It's imperative that patients understand what their portion is up front so they can make the decision about what is best for them and their families.

For additional information on transitioning to the home setting, visit our podcast webpage at www.igliving.com/life-with-ig/podcast-episodes/E05-IG-Infusions-in-the-Home-Setting.html.

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