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Thread: Question for anyone who has had MS drugs by infusion

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Default Question for anyone who has had MS drugs by infusion

    As I've mentioned in the Books thread, I just finished reading An American Sickness: How Healthcare Has Become Big Business and How You Can Take It Back (2017) by Elisabeth Rosenthal. She doesn't mention MS much but she does state something I wasn't aware of. She says that infusions for treatment of MS must be given in a hospital due to insurance company rules even though they could be done in a doctor's office. She says this enables a "facility fee" to be tacked onto the amount the patient is charged.

    I could be remembering wrong but aren't some people getting MS drug infusions in doctors' offices?

    If anyone is interested, I comment on books I've read on another site, and here is part of what I had to say about this book:


    This is a timely and important book. The author, who was a practicing physician for about 8 years before becoming the science and health reporter for the New York Times, seems to know her topic thoroughly. She paints an alarming picture of the US healthcare system, with hospitals and medical providers and drug companies all helping themselves to considerable sums of money thanks to cleverness in manipulating insurance company and Medicare policies. It adds up to a catastrophically broken system, with patients being harmed and often impoverished by it.
    She gives detailed descriptions of inventive forms of "strategic billing" used by doctors and hospitals who have devised ways of using the elaborate coding system to generate a far higher price tag for services and items that they should have.


    She has no use for direct-to-consumer drug advertising, which is now inundating the US media.


    ...


    She discusses "accelerated approval measures"--the easiest way to get drug products onto the market. In this way companies can more easily market drugs and biologics that have no real proven value, she says.




    She strongly favors obliging hospitals to make their chargemasters clearly available to all patients so that they can find out what they can expect to be charged for everything that is done during their hospital stays, and she would like to see hospitals guarantee that all doctors who treat you are in your insurance network--to avoid the very unwelcome surprise of a bill that is astonishingly higher than anticipated just because the doctor who examined or treated you was out-of-network.



    She maintains that the skills of pharmacists in the US are very underused and points out that in Europe drugs are classified into three groups: over-the-counter, prescription, and pharmacist-dispensed. Using pharmacists' training and knowledge by enabling them to dispense drugs without doctors' prescriptions would ease the burden on doctors and provide patients with readier access to many well-established drugs.



    The book includes three useful appendices, with links to Websites where more information can be found.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Agate, I am sure someone who is on an infusion can give you better information, but I do know that they are given here in a Doctor's setting. The Doctor's just designate a portion of their space maybe one large room or two rooms and call it an "Infusion Center". They have Doctors who are treating their patients near by the Infusion Center, while the nurses are giving the infusions. This way they can say they have a Doctor in the center. Actually, here the patients who are seeing a Doctor for a regular appointment come in a different door and do not know the Infusion Center is there.

    Years ago I had a friend who was on Tysabri and she said that her insurance paid something like a total of $10,000 per infusion with 1/2 going for the drug and the other half going for the Infusion Center.
    Virginia

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    Distinguished Community Member jendie's Avatar
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    I get my Rituxan infusions at a hospital infusion center.
    Last edited by jendie; 01-05-2019 at 08:05 PM. Reason: typo was driving me crazt

    Jendie
    I've been a member of this forum during its different incarnations since I was dx in 9/98


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    The Brigham MS Center used to be in a building in Brookline about a mile from the hospital in Boston. The infusion center was there.

    It has moved to a new building on the hospital campus (it’s the Anne Romney Center now). It’s an outpatient building.

    ANN
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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    Hi Jendie! I see you but the “Thanks” button has disappeared again.

    ANN
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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    Distinguished Community Member jendie's Avatar
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    Hi ANN, I was editing my post, so maybe we were on at the same time and that's why the thanks button was missing? *shrug*

    Jendie
    I've been a member of this forum during its different incarnations since I was dx in 9/98


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    Hi Jendie, been missing you!
    Virginia

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    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Hi, Jendie!🤝
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

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    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jendie View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I get my Rituxan infusions at a hospital infusion center.
    Me too! It must depend on the danger of the drugs you are taking...if something goes wrong during a chemo infusion I do not want to be sitting in a doctor’s office with a nurse who may or may not be an oncology nurse.

    When I did methylprednisilone monthly for 3days in a row over a 4 year span I always did it at the infusion center. But when I did it only one day a month for an hour I had the nurse come to my house and i did it in my living room. That was ok but I think I would not play Russian roulette like that again. Years of infusions and only 3 or 4 incidents but you need a highly skilled nurse...and at an infusion center you have immediate attention by many oncology nurses who all deal with the crisis...and are experienced in what they are seeing.
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

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    When I did methylprednisolone for 5 days for a doctor associated with the then Deaconess Hospital, they sent a VNA nurse to my home and I had the whole course at home. She checked my BP twice at the beginning of each dose and then left. I undid my IV at the end.

    ANN
    There comes a time when silence is betrayal.- MLK

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