April 29, 2020 For Immediate Release

COVID-19 Response: Vital Care Home Infusion Pharmacies Helping Hospitals Transfer Patients to Their Homes to Meet Growing Demand for Critical Healthcare Services

Meridian, MS, April 29, 2020 -- Vital Care (vitalcareinc.com) Home Infusion Services is helping hospitals and clinics care for patients who need IV infusion or other medical services that can be provided in the home. By transitioning patients back home from hospitals and doctors’ offices, Vital Care is providing a critical service by reducing the burden in these unprecedented times. As the premier provider of home infusion services, Vital Care’s unique franchise model offers the benefits of locally owned and operated locations that are supported by a national office staff of specialists in pharmacy, nursing, quality management, and insurance approvals, billing, and payment


Each Vital Care franchise location is a pharmacy-based patient care organization with expertise in sterile drug compounding that provides care to patients with acute or chronic conditions generally pertaining to parenteral administration of drugs, biologics, and nutritional mixes administered through catheters and/or needles. Vital Care provides comprehensive professional pharmacy services, care coordination, infusion nursing services, supplies, and equipment.


"Fortunately, we have been proactively expanding our reach and market share for the last several years, giving us the infrastructure to continue meeting increased demand," said Johnny Bell, president and founder of Vital Care, Inc. "We are committed now more than ever to utilizing our capacity and expertise to help people across the country who can benefit from home infusion."


Primary treatments include TPN and enteral nutrition, anti-infective therapy, hydration, inotropic therapy, immunotherapy, pain management, hemophilia services, and specialty medications. "Vital Care corporate provides us access to clinical and administrative experts in healthcare, they secure drugs and supplies from pharmaceutical companies, and they handle all of the insurance and billing aspects of this complex business," said one of the local franchise owners. This business model frees up the local pharmacist-owners to work directly with doctors, nurses, case managers, and home health agencies to transition patients to the home setting.


While Vital Care’s local franchise locations serve on the frontlines to treat patients in their communities with the support from the corporate office, Vital Care’s administrative team also is working behind the scenes with the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) and other groups to promote new legislation that would expand access to home infusion treatments for patients who need intravenous (IV) medications, but do not otherwise need to be hospitalized. Currently Medicare only covers a limited set of drug therapies for home infusion reimbursement, while most private insurance payors cover a more comprehensive list of home infusion treatments. Now is the time, during the COVID-19 crisis, for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand coverage for home infusion, as it has become clear that this is the best path forward for so many patients who need to stay safe at home.


"There is already a comprehensive infrastructure and support system in place to make sure that home infusion can happen safely," said Logan E. Davis, PharmD, MBA, the director of franchise development for Vital Care Home Infusion Services and chairman of the Board for the National Home Infusion Association. "Our home infusion pharmacies across the country have implemented screening protocols and best practices to ensure that, when necessary, nurses are able to safely go into the home and administer infusions and leave without risking spread of the virus. And the vast majority of infusion drugs do not require a nurse to be in the home for every day of their administration."


One very practical example of this is IV antibiotics for conditions patients may have like a skin infection requiring two weeks of infusions. "This is a therapy that is self-administered by patients every day, all over the country, and paid for by private insurers," Dr. Davis said. "This is one of the big gaps that Medicare has long had, and that we as an industry have been encouraging them to address. Virtually every other payor has a benefit that reimburses home infusion providers for every day of infusion, and this public health emergency demonstrates why it is so important for Medicare to step up to the plate."


Ed Eiland, CEO of Vital Care, Inc. said, "I was a hospital-based pharmacist for 15 years prior to joining Vital Care. We had so many patients who could have been served in the home instead of staying in the hospital. I can tell you unequivocally that home infusion is the right solution for patients completing their intravenous medication therapies for acute illness as well as those individuals with chronic conditions. The coronavirus has put an added emphasis on this, and we are encouraged to see so many people now realizing that. Vital Care has strong ties to health care professionals within hospitals and clinics, so we come alongside them to make this work well for everyone, most importantly the patients."


Patients, physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators can rely on Vital Care to be with them through the entire five-step process for receiving home infusion. This includes: 1) patient consultation; 2) insurance authorization; 3) therapy verification; 4) patient and healthcare provider support; and 5) follow-up with everyone involved.



About Vital Care, Inc.

Vital Care is the premier pharmacy franchise business for home infusion services. Our passion since 1986 is improving the lives of patients and healthcare professionals through locally owned franchise locations across the United States. We have over 60 franchised pharmacies across two dozen states.