Hospital IV therapy may drain Medicare Part D, news analysis finds

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Hospital IV therapy may drain Medicare Part D, news analysis finds
Hospital IV therapy may drain Medicare Part D, news analysis finds
The Medicare Part D insurance plan may be wasting billions of dollars when it comes to intravenous drug treatment. Because it does not cover many of the drug-related costs of home-care treatment, patients have to go to the hospital, where Medicare ends up spending a lot more, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Administering intravenous drugs at home, which reduces many of the infection risks that accompany hospital treatment, costs roughly $150 to $200 per day, according to the Journal. By contrast, hospital-administered IV therapy, costs between $1,500 and $2,500 per day. While some Medicare beneficiaries who don't have supplemental coverage can get drug infusions at an outpatient facility, most have to be admitted to a hospital or nursing home, where they are covered under Medicare hospitalization benefits.

If a patient opts to receive the drugs at home, the Medicare Part D insurance plan covers the drugs, but not the services, supplies and equipment that accompany them. Congress is currently reviewing legislation to expand the coverage for these services, according to the Journal.