By: Sue Carrington |
While most patients receive IV treatments in a hospital or medical center, some may need IV treatments to be administered at home. In this case, a nurse would come provide the treatment and monitor the patient. Like all IV treatments, home IV therapy comes with risks that should be considered.
When you’re diagnosed with a condition that can be treated with intravenous infusions, you may be able to receive your treatments at home.
What is home infusion care?
Typically, patients who need regular IV treatments receive them at the hospital, doctor’s office, or specialty clinic. But some patients with mobility or transportation challenges may consider home infusions as an alternative. A qualified healthcare provider will visit you at home, give you fluids or medication through an IV line, and monitor you throughout the process.
If you choose home infusion, you can expect personal care in your own environment at a time that works best for you. This may be more comfortable and more convenient than traveling to a healthcare facility for treatments. If your immune system is compromised, being treated at home may be preferable to being treated in a healthcare facility, where you could be at a higher risk of getting an infection.
What safety precautions should I expect from my provider?
Should complications arise in your home infusion—for instance, a medication error, an allergic reaction to your medication, or an IV infiltration they may be more challenging to treat at home than in the hospital or clinic. Make sure your home infusion provider has communicated a plan to ensure your safety, including:
- Assessing your medical history
- Maintaining sterile conditions for administering and storing your medications
- Documenting procedures and any changes you’re experiencing
- Attending to any adverse reactions
- Having an on-call team in place to handle an emergency
Your provider should also teach you what warning signs to look out for to help prevent complications.
Is home infusion covered by my insurer?
Most private insurers cover home IV therapy, but the cost of coverage for medications and home care services often varies between providers. Some providers may cover medications, but not all in-home infusion services. Medicare does not cover home infusion nursing services for most patients.
How can I select the right home infusion provider?
While home infusion therapy may be beneficial for some, it’s not for everyone. Talk with your doctor about this option. If together, you decide your home is a better setting for you than a healthcare facility, do your homework to find the local provider with the best track record in patient outcomes. Look for a company with a dedicated team that extends beyond the in-home nurse, including pharmacists, dietitians, and technicians. The team should provide a patient-centered plan custom-tailored to your unique needs.
Whether you’re in the hospital or at home for your IV treatment, the more you know about the potential risks, the better. For more information, read IV Complications: What Can Go Wrong?