Medical infusion therapies make managing chronic conditions such as auto-immune disorders more manageable and help patients maintain the best quality of life. Did you know you can also choose where to receive your treatment?
Companies like Infusion for Health were started to provide the highest level of care and comfort for patients. Read more to learn about infusion treatments and why choosing the right treatment location can make a world of difference
What is Infusion Therapy?
Infusion therapy can be done for a variety of different illnesses. It involves administering medication through a needle or catheter. Once the needle or catheter is inserted into your vein, the drug is administered for a set amount of time.
Infusions are an important administration method because some medications can’t be taken orally or aren’t effective as oral medication. For instance certain conditions or treatments mean many patients deal with nausea, which means they can’t keep oral medications down. Infusions may be used to treat cases of dehydration, through to autoimmune disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and even cancer.
When most people think about infusions, they think about intravenous (IV) treatments. While IV infusion therapy is a common administration method, an infusion can also refer to injections. These injections may be done into your spinal cord or muscles.
Typically, infusions take around one to three hours to administer. While some patients require several treatments a week, many medications are administered just once a week or less.
One of the biggest obstacles to getting infusions is the cost. In addition to having to take time off of work, patients end up having to pay for the treatment and transportation costs to reach the treatment center. If they go to a hospital instead of an outpatient office, the treatment can cost twice as much.
This kind of therapy can be used to treat some of the following conditions.
- Immune deficiencies.
- Autoimmune disorders.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Congestive heart failure.
- Immunoglobulin replacement therapy for hypergammaglobulinemia.
- Ulcerative colitis.
- Insulin for type 1 diabetes.
- Serious infections.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Psoriatic arthritis.
- Hypercoagulation disorders.
- Multiple sclerosis.
How Does Infusion Therapy Work?
You will generally get an IV infusion in a doctor’s office, hospital, infusion center, or some type of outpatient facility. Depending on your medical condition, transportation needs, and insurance provider, it may even be possible to get an IV infusion at home from a professional provider.
Our highly trained registered nurses (RNs) administer treatment through a need prick. However, for some recurring treatments, your provider may recommend interesting a central line into your arm, groin, chest, or neck that can be used over multiple sessions instead of requiring a new injection site each time.
If you are going to receive infusions for a long time, you may get a port surgically implanted underneath your skin. Then, a needle can easily be used with the port, so you don’t have to get additional needle sticks. When you eventually finish your infusions, the port can be surgically removed.
No matter what type of port or needle you get, your infusions will be given to you by trained medical professionals. If you have a reaction to the medication, it’s important to have medical supervision.
Each medication is different. While some are prepared right before you arrive for your treatment, other medications are pre-prepared. If the treatment takes more than a couple of minutes, your medical provider will generally use a control mechanism on your line to administer the right dose per minute.
Often, the treatment center will also do remote monitoring, so they can easily tell how your infusion is going. At Infusion for Health, all of our patients enjoy fully private suites, with custom reclining chairs, along with entertainment options, and an endless supply of warm blankets. Our objective is your comfort and your care.
Starting Your Infusion
Once you arrive at your treatment center, the nurse will check your identity. They will verify the medication, dose, and treatment time. In addition, the nurse will see if you will receive your treatment through an injection, vein, or port.
Once everything has been verified, you will be brought back to the treatment location. After you have sat down, the nurse will connect a tube to an IV bag.
The IV bag will be hung up so that gravity helps it go into your bloodstream. Depending on your medical condition, you may need one or more IV bags. The entire infusion can take 30 minutes to multiple hours.
Because you are getting a lot of fluids during your treatment, you’ll probably need to use the bathroom frequently. Ask a nurse or whoever is monitoring you before you use the restroom. You’ll be able to take the IV pole to the bathroom, but you may need help doing so.
How to Prepare
To have a good experience, it is important to prepare for your treatment. You should arrive at the treatment center early and check in at the front desk. Because infusions can take several hours to complete, you should bring along reading materials, electronic devices, games, or other items to help you pass the time.
Often, the treatment center will provide blankets and wi-fi. You can ask about the amenities before your treatment, so you can easily plan out what you need to bring along.
If you need to take anti-nausea medications beforehand, fast, or do any other preparations, your doctor or nurse will let you know ahead of time. Many people feel tired once the medication begins taking effect, so you will likely want to block out time for resting after your treatment is complete. At Infusion for Health, we will manage your treatment from the moment we have you provider’s referral, to help ensure you are prepared, and we manage pre and post-treatment requirements.
Types of Infusion Therapy
Infusion therapy can be a valable form of treamtnet people with autoimmune disorders, chronic conditions, serious infections, and even dehydration. Your doctor may prescribe infusion treatment for one of the following circumstances.
- You are unable to swallow pills.
- You’ve tried antibiotics, and they aren’t working to get rid of your infection.
- You need iron to treat your chronic anemia.
- You need an IV antibiotic to avoid an allergic reaction.
- You’re dehydrated.
- The drug works best through infusion.
Sometimes, medications are so powerful that you can’t take them orally. They have to go directly into your bloodstream to protect your stomach and digestive system. While many medications can be given through infusion therapy, the following medications are the most common options.
- Pain management drugs.
- Stem cell transplants.
- Heart pump medication.
- Parenteral and enteral nutrition.
- Hemophilia factor therapy.
- Intravenous gamma globulin (IVIG).
- Car T therapy for lymphoma.
What Does Infusion Therapy Treat?
The types of infusion medication you get will depend on your underlying medical condition. Typically, this treatment is used for the following conditions.
- Serious infections: If you are suffering from cellulitis, sepsis, pneumonia, or another severe infection, you may be given an IV infusion.
- Gastrointestinal diseases: Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal illnesses may be treated with an IV infusion.
- Autoimmune disorders: IV infusion therapy is often used for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque arthritis, and other autoimmune disorders.
- Hydration: If you are dehydrated or require postoperative hydration, your doctor may decide to give you an infusion.
- Immune deficiencies: Primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDDs) and other immune deficiencies are typically treated with IV infusions.
- Nutritional deficiencies: Your doctor may choose to give you magnesium, iron, or other nutrients if your body doesn’t have enough of them.
How Long Does Infusion Therapy Take?
Each medication can take a different amount of time. Some medications only require a few minutes to complete. Other medications can take five or six hours to receive.
In other cases, the infusion process is relatively quick. Some medications are given as an injection in your muscle. You may also be given an injection directly into your spinal cord, which is known as an epidural.
If you receive your medication as an epidural, the procedure will generally take around 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Afterward, you will likely be monitored for another 30 to 60 minutes. If you have reactions to the medication, your treatment provider will be able to alleviate some of the effects.
Along with the time it takes to get an infusion or an injection, you should also plan for the time it takes to park, check-in, and go to your treatment room. You may need to be monitored after your treatment. Because infusions can be tiring, you may also want to give yourself time to rest and recuperate after the procedure is finished.
How Much Does Infusion Therapy Cost?
The cost of infusion therapy can vary significantly. You will pay a different amount based on the medication you need, the dosage, where you get your treatment, and your insurance plan. For instance, hospitals often charge significantly more for infusions than private treatment centers and doctor’s offices.
Your medication plays a major role in your overall cost as well. If you get an iron infusion for anemia, you may have to pay $400 to $4,300 for each infusion.
As long as the iron infusion is medically necessary, your insurance will often pay the majority of the cost. For instance, Medicare Part B will typically pay for 80% of the cost.
On the low end, an infusion may cost as low as $300. High-cost infusions can end up being $10,000 or more after you account for the associated fees and costs.
There are many factors involved in determining how much you will pay.
- Generic or brand name: Some medications have a generic option. This will generally be cheaper than the brand name, but it will give you the same effects.
- Infusion location: Hospitals and outpatient centers will generally charge more than your doctor’s office or an infusion center.
- Geographic location: If you live in a high-cost city, the infusion center has to cover more overhead costs. Unfortunately, these added costs end up getting absorbed by the patient.
- Multiple doses: You will end up paying more money if you need multiple doses of the infusion.
- Lab and office visit charges: Depending on your insurance provider, you may have extra fees for your office visit and lab tests. Often, providers will perform blood tests after an IV infusion to see if the medication has achieved the desired effect.
Does Insurance Cover Some of the Cost?
Before you go to a treatment center, you should see if it accepts your insurance company. If your infusion is medically necessary, insurance providers will typically pay all or part of your treatment cost. In fact, your insurance provider may even cover home visits.
Depending on the treatment center, there may also be financial aid plans available. In some states, there are specific programs available to help patients afford treatment for various diseases. If you are struggling to afford the cost of your treatment, you can always ask the treatment center about available options.
Where to Get Infusion Therapy
If you need infusion therapy, Infusion for Health can help. You can reach out to us directly or ask your doctor about switching treatment centers. Your doctor can give you a referral to one of our convenient locations.
At Infusion for Health, you will be able to enjoy the comfort of an oversized recliner in a private suite. Each treatment room is equipped with warm blankets, televisions, and other amenities to help you have a positive treatment experience.
To learn more about our infusion options and schedule your next appointment, call Infusion for Health today.