As a leading healthcare provider, we recognize our role and our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our patients, customers, team members and community. Option Care Health is mandating all leaders be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021 and all patient and customer-facing team members be fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021.
“Our mission is to transform healthcare while delivering hope to our patients and their families,” said John Rademacher, Chief Executive Officer. “We believe our single largest contribution to eradicating COVID-19 is through vaccination. By receiving the vaccine, we are becoming a part of the solution. Each one of us at Option Care Health plays a critical role in our purpose of providing extraordinary care that changes lives.”
Option Care Health complies with applicable federal, state and local laws and will evaluate exceptions to the vaccine requirement due to a medical condition or strongly held religious beliefs.
BATON ROUGE, La., and BANNOCKBURN, Ill., Jan. 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED), a leading provider of home health, hospice and personal care, and Option Care Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPCH), the nation’s largest independent home and alternate site infusion services provider, are collaborating on providing COVID antibody infusion therapy within skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, collectively referred to as “long term care facilities.” The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) to both Eli Lilly and Regeneron for their investigational neutralizing antibody therapies to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatrics who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 symptoms or hospitalization.
On December 8, 2020, the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) announced it had launched a pilot program with Operation Warp Speed and the department of Health and Human Services to expand access to Bamlanivimab for COVID-19-positive eligible patients residing in long-term care facilities. As an active member of the NHIA, Option Care Health agreed to participate in the pilot program to help service this vulnerable population.
Through the collaboration, which will initially be piloted in Indianapolis and Valparaiso, Indiana markets, with potential to scale to other markets, as appropriate, Amedisys and Option Care Health will coordinate to expeditiously provide care to long-term care facility residents. This innovative service model draws on the strengths and capabilities of both organizations and leverages clinical resources in the most efficient way to ensure expanded access to this difficult-to-serve population. Through its Hospice division, Amedisys will oversee the on-site care coordination for residents through their expansive clinical team. Option Care Health will leverage its pharmacy network operations to provide critical clinical pharmacy oversight and will distribute Bamlanivimab through its national network of pharmacies.
John Rademacher, Chief Executive Officer of Option Care Health, stated, “We are proud to collaborate with Amedisys, a leader in home health and hospice services, along with NHIA and leaders of Operation Warp Speed, to expand access to vital therapies for one of the most vulnerable populations. Combining the extraordinary capabilities of two industry leaders to solve a critical healthcare challenge is truly humbling.”
“We have experience from being on the frontlines and caring for more than 12,500 COVID 19-positive patients,” stated Paul Kusserow, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amedisys. “We know how important innovative solutions are for caring for those who need our services the most, and this is exactly the type of partnerships in which Amedisys wants to be involved to help our country make it through this pandemic. We’re extremely honored to play our part alongside Option Care Health, NHIA and Operation Warp Speed.”
Amedisys, Inc. is a leading healthcare at home company delivering personalized home health, hospice and personal care. Amedisys is focused on delivering the care that is best for our patients, whether that is home-based personal care; recovery and rehabilitation after an operation or injury; care focused on empowering them to manage a chronic disease; or hospice care at the end of life. More than 2,600 hospitals and 67,000 physicians nationwide have chosen Amedisys as a partner in post-acute care. Founded in 1982, headquartered in Baton Rouge, LA with an executive office in Nashville, Tenn., Amedisys is a publicly held company. With 21,000 employees in 514 care centers within 39 states and the District of Columbia, Amedisys is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of care to the doorsteps of more than 415,000 patients and clients in need every year. For more information about the Company, please visit: www.amedisys.com.
About Option Care Health
Option Care Health is the nation’s largest independent provider of home and alternate site infusion services. With over 5,000 teammates, including approximately 2,900 clinicians, we work compassionately to elevate standards of care for patients with acute and chronic conditions in all 50 states. Through our clinical leadership, expertise and national scale, Option Care Health is reimagining the infusion care experience for patients, customers and teammates.
When included in this press release, words like “believes,” “belief,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “projects,” “estimates,” “may,” “might,” “would,” “should,” “will” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described therein. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the following: the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic (“COVID-19”), including the measures that have been and may be taken by governmental authorities to mitigate it, on our business, financial condition and results of operations, changes in or our failure to comply with existing federal and state laws or regulations or the inability to comply with new government regulations on a timely basis, changes in Medicare and other medical payment levels, our ability to open care centers, acquire additional care centers and integrate and operate these care centers effectively, competition in the healthcare industry, changes in the case mix of patients and payment methodologies, changes in estimates and judgments associated with critical accounting policies, our ability to maintain or establish new patient referral sources, our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, our ability to keep our patients and employees safe, changes in payments and covered services by federal and state governments, future cost containment initiatives undertaken by third-party payors, our access to financing, our ability to meet debt service requirements and comply with covenants in debt agreements, business disruptions due to natural disasters or acts of terrorism, widespread protest or civil unrest, our ability to integrate, manage and keep our information systems secure, our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of acquisitions, and changes in law or developments with respect to any litigation relating to the Company, including various other matters, many of which are beyond our control.
Because forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified, you should not rely on any forward-looking statement as a prediction of future events. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking and we do not intend to release publicly any updates or changes in our expectations concerning the forward-looking statements or any changes in events, conditions or circumstances upon which any forward-looking statement may be based, except as required by law.
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Frequently ill with pneumonia, bronchitis and other serious infections, Cambria Hooven, 35, limited her contact with people and didn’t leave her house much. After finally learning the reason for her near-constant sickness was a weakened immune system due to common variable immune deficiency (CVID), she began receiving intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) at home through Option Care Health. She felt free to get out more and socialize, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Because Cambria was afraid to risk having visitors come to her home, her Option Care Health nurse, Kola devised a plan. He suggested she receive treatments at the Option Care Health Langhorne Infusion Suite where he works, which is a 35-minute drive from her home in Philadelphia.
“I was nervous about it as I hesitate to go anywhere during this pandemic, so he sent me a video of the suite before my first appointment, walking through everything and showing me exactly what doors to enter,” said Cambria, who gets teary eyed at the memory. “Kola has been my nurse for two years and he’s like family to me. I don’t know what I would do without him in my life!”
She now receives her four-hour monthly treatments in a clean and sanitized room, which has its own comfortable lounge chair and large windows. Because she otherwise stays home during the pandemic, she really enjoys going for her monthly infusions. “It’s a little retreat center,” says Cambria.
Cambria is relieved to finally have a diagnosis and receive treatment. For years, she saw one doctor after the next to try to figure out why she was always sick. Eight years ago, she had her appendix removed, got a serious blood infection and spent 33 days in the hospital, unsure if she would survive. Determined to get to the bottom of her problem, she took a leave from her job as a social worker in child welfare to have one test after the other.
She finally saw an immune specialist who diagnosed her condition and prescribed IVIG. As a result, she hasn’t been hospitalized since. Initially, she began self-infusing at home, but wasn’t comfortable with it. Option Care Health recommended a nurse come to her home to provide the infusions and that’s how she met Kola.
Now that she’s receiving treatment, Cambria feels healthier and is able to do her work as a social worker remotely, often from the Langhorne infusion suite.
“I know how to stay safe and the treatment I get at Option Care Health helps so I don’t have to live in fear and isolation. I can get outside safely to hike and backpack,” she said. “It’s great going to the Langhorne suite, which is safe and clean and I have so much respect for the nurses and their families. They’re so considerate.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the home-based care industry, changes that agencies were already making to succeed in a value-based care model have taken on a new urgency. Innovative technologies are critical to help prioritize value-based data and seamless transitions to lower-cost care settings.
For both economic and safety reasons, home care plays an increasingly important role in minimizing risk for elderly or otherwise immuno-compromised patients, especially for those who rely on infused drug therapies for chronic, complex conditions. With hospital system capacity spread thin due to the pandemic and elevated concerns about risk of exposure in a health system setting, the imperative for keeping people in the comfort of their own homes is greater than ever.
That is what makes home infusion therapy so appealing.
Home infusion comes with significant benefits, but the industry also faces a new set of challenges due to COVID-19. Adoption of flexible, scalable technology is an important part of the solution to support in-person and virtual operations while building new processes that will chart a course well past the point of the pandemic’s impact.
With its required mix of equipment, complex therapy management and clinical coordination across many health care providers, home infusion creates strain around data tracking and operational efficiencies. To address these challenges, home and alternate site infusion providers need a software platform that is cloud-based and mobile, offers real-time communication and integrates seamlessly with other systems to provide users with a single point of access.
“As the demand for home infusion rises, the need to ensure patient safety and high-quality care will be a key focus,” says Adrian Schauer, founder and CEO of a cloud-based, home health care software provider AlayaCare.
Here are five benefits that cloud-based technology brings to home and alternate site infusion during the pandemic.
Offers easy-to-use technology
For Option Care Health, a partnership with AlayaCare has been just what the doctor ordered. One of the major advantages is the ease of the technology, which was a key selling point for nursing teams accustomed to pen and paper.
“We needed a solution that would be easy to adopt, help us easily shift to a virtual environment and meet the increasing need for data,” says Joan Couden, vice president of nursing for Option Care Health. “The IT match was really important to us. The solution we chose had to fit into the rest of our systems and clinical needs.”
Enhances nurse-pharmacist communication and collaboration
One of the most important relationships for optimizing outcomes in home infusion is between the nurse and the pharmacist. The pharmacist must know everything happening during the care episode, while the nurse must know all of the medications the patient is taking orally as well as what is being compounded and dispensed from the pharmacy.
Previous to its work with AlayaCare, Option Care Health maintained this nurse-pharmacist collaboration through manual processes, which “are always sub-optimal,” Couden says.
Instead, cloud-based technology produces near real-time updates to care plans, moving from the nurse to the pharmacy or the pharmacy to the nurse. Changes to medications or patient response to medications get transferred immediately.
“Now more than ever, post-acute care providers must automate manual business processes to ensure high-quality care, or risk missing out on profitable growth,” Schauer says.
Creates consistent care regardless of setting
In a mobile world, amidst a pandemic and a value-based landscape that rewards care in lower-cost settings, the ability to deliver care in a patient’s home is invaluable, with multiple benefits to both care outcomes and the bottom line.
But the home is not the only location where infusion services are provided. Patients can also receive care in infusion suites. Cloud-based technology offers continuity of care across settings to ensure that the quality of care is the same no matter the setting.
“There are a lot of challenges in a remote, mobile clinical situation. The AlayaCare platform allows for flexible, dynamic adaptation to the way home infusion worked historically and to how it is changing today,” says Brett Michalak, Option Care Health Chief Information Officer. “Everyone can be focused on clinical care for the patient, and not the underlying technology. And that means patient experience and outcomes are highly enabled through this partnership.”
“The technology allows us to focus on providing care in the most efficient way possible,” adds Couden. “We can ensure we are matching the right nurse to the right patient all with a click of a button, helping to minimize travel time and increase patient-facing time.”
Facilitates shift to telehealth
While this technology had great value prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Option Care Health has seen a boost in its value during the pandemic. Cloud-based technology supports that shift — a shift which is likely to continue to deepen in the coming months.
“The pandemic caused us to look at everything we do differently,” Couden says. “When we started this journey (with AlayaCare), would I have said, ‘Telehealth is something we have to do right now’? I probably would not have. But working in partnership with AlayaCare and our clinical teams, we were able to rapidly and smoothly deploy virtual solutions that really have the ability to change lives for the better, one patient at a time. I believe this is an integral part of how health care will continue to be delivered now and in the future.”
Deploys quickly due to easy integration
One of the top concerns care providers have about new technology systems is workflow. They ask themselves, How long will this take to integrate? The answer from AlayaCare is nearly instantaneous, regardless of what technology a provider already uses.
“AlayaCare allows us to deploy the technology in a rapid manner,” Michalak says. “Competitive platforms don’t provide the integration capabilities, in my opinion, that AlayaCare can provide. The integration of the platform allows for rapid adoption.”
The needs for quick integration and streamlined collaboration are obviously high during COVID-19, but when Option Care went through a merger last year (launching as Option Care Health), the technology from AlayaCare helped the company quickly pivot, too.
“The agile nature of the platform allows us the flexibility to adjust to any evolution in our care environment,” Michalak says. “Whether that’s a merger or a pandemic, we can adapt and deploy the technology optimally to enable our clinicians to focus on care and not on administrative technology. The ease of use and scalability lets our clinicians perform at their highest levels.”
To learn more about how AlayaCare can help your home infusion business, visit AlayaCare.com today.
Republished with permission from AISHealth.com
With numerous hospitals focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and many areas under stay-at-home mandates, home infusion is more important than ever. Changes within the industry already have been seen, and the current situation is likely to result in permanent shifts within the home infusion space.
“If you can do infusion at home, you need to do it there,” maintains Ashraf Shehata, KPMG national sector leader for Healthcare & Life Sciences. “This is about controlling infection risk in the near term, and many home infusion candidates are in a high-risk category. Longer term, there has been a shift toward delivering care in the most economical and clinically appropriate setting, largely driven by payers.”
“We have seen an increase in some home infusion utilization of select therapies in certain markets where patient administration sites of care are shifting from the acute care or hospital outpatient setting to the home, related to the pandemic,” says Drew Walk, CEO of Soleo Health. “We have also seen a significant reduction in other therapies due to the postponement of non-COVID-related procedures in health systems and provider offices.”
Walk tells AIS Health that while the types of drugs being administered at home have been fairly consistent with what were administered before the pandemic, he’s seen “a broader opportunity to provide first dosing in the home, which may have been offered only in a controlled setting previously.”
“Antibiotics/antivirals, pain management, total parenteral nutrition and [intravenous immune globulin] are currently the most common treatments given through home infusion,” says Shehata, adding that other therapies may be administered at home but “that depends upon the circumstances, such as the medication and the risk to the patient.”
Lee Newcomer, M.D., principal at Lee N. Newcomer Consulting LLC, says a shift to home infusion “will be relatively small” and would be done for two main reasons: avoiding exposure to people who may be infected and bringing down the overhead cost of hospitals or clinics. “The shift is limited by the small number of medications that don’t require physician proximity for side effect management,” he says.
According to Harriet Booker, chief operating officer of Option Care Health, Inc., “Option Care Health’s business model, built around a national network of compounding pharmacies, is designed to bring care to patients right when they need it — which often means delivering complex care with compounded pharmacy medications within hours of a patient discharging from a hospital. And the pandemic really has changed nothing about that, other than our need to ensure we are prepared to meet changing demand and variability in referral volumes.”
She says that the company’s standard operating processes “include comprehensive network and business continuity plans, which ensure our ability to provide infusion pharmacy and nursing care to patients on a consistent and reliable basis nationwide, especially during this pandemic. This real-time agility employs added shifts, remote staffing rotations and expanded pharmacy hours to compound and administer vital medications.”
Option Care Health has been working with hospitals to help them “free up beds in advance of an influx of COVID-19 patients or simply when and where they need it,” Booker says, including identifying conditions that may be treated at home or in an infusion suite and coordinating ongoing care for patients who may be discharged safely.
“Our network of compounding pharmacies allows us to develop care plans personalized to each patient, providing customized medications and supplies that are sent right to their home or administered in the infusion suite,” Booker tells AIS Health. “Our efforts are not only freeing up beds for COVID-19 patients but are getting infusion patients safely and efficiently into more comfortable settings and even preventing hospital admissions from the start.”
Some Services Moved to Virtual Setting
The company also has moved some of its services to a virtual setting, including “remote triaging, patient education and teaching, nurse oversight and assistance to discharge planners and patients.” And Option Care Health has reallocated some of its 2,900 infusion nurses and pharmacy clinicians to places with the greatest need, such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
In such a highly contagious environment, the company is taking numerous precautions to help reduce the potential for COVID infections in both its employees and patients. “We are closely following CDC guidelines and are updating our plans, policies and guidelines as often as needed to ensure our employees’ safety and that of our patients, especially during this time of COVID-19 where conditions are changing rapidly,” says Booker. “We have a standing call daily to assess new COVID-19 related data and discuss how to adapt our PPE [i.e., personal protective equipment] supply accordingly. Due to our national network and a long-standing relationship with suppliers, we have an ample PPE supply and are constantly monitoring it to make sure our employees have everything they need to deliver safe treatment to patients.”
Shift to Home Has Been in Place
Some plans already have been shifting administration of certain therapies to patient homes and provider offices, which are more cost-effective settings than hospitals, points out Elan Rubinstein, Pharm.D., EB Rubinstein Associates. The 10th edition of Magellan Rx Management’s Medical Pharmacy Trend Report found that among 54 payer respondents, 39% had a mandatory site-of-service program in place in 2019. Among the members shifted into such a program, 34% were shifted into the home infusion setting.
“There could be more home infusion, with drugs that pose low risk of serious adverse events during or immediately after infusion or where a patient tolerated prior infusions of these drugs with no or minimal difficulty,” says Rubinstein. “With respect to patients receiving chemotherapy, a move to home infusion would require a way to manage performance and evaluation of laboratory tests to assess the safety and appropriateness of the intended drug therapy and a decision prior to infusion to change dosage, change drugs, go ahead or hold off.”
Lisa Kennedy, Ph.D., chief economist and managing principal at Innopiphany LLC, points out that while CMS has changed some policies in support of home infusion, “not everyone is on board.” She notes that the Community Oncology Alliance “has raised safety concerns about home infusion centered on a lack of training of those in the community administering treatment at home versus trained oncology nurses.”
Conversely, the National Home Infusion Association “is strongly supportive of home infusion as a viable option for keeping patients safe,” says Kennedy. She also points out that guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) say that providers should “consider whether home infusion of chemotherapy drugs is medically and logistically feasible for the patient, medical team and caregivers.”
In these guidelines, she says, “ASCO raises the key challenge here, which is how to take a system, process and resource designed to be administered in one setting and then move it to a home setting. It may not be feasible because of training of new staff, available resources, travel constraints, insurance and other logistics that mean that it just can’t be scaled properly. So it really depends on the situation, geography and capability of the center.”
Patients May Like Convenience
“Going forward there will be a lot of candidates for home infusion, and some customers/patients may like the convenience of getting care at home,” says Shehata. Investor respondents to the survey on which the 2020 KPMG Healthcare and Life Sciences Investment Outlook was based “saw a good opportunity in home health care, and that survey was taken before COVID-19. The burden on health systems is going to test new care models and open up more possibilities tied to home health care, including infusion.”
Alternative Care Models May Be Option
“The use of home infusion will also depend upon the nature of the medications used and the amount of time it takes to infuse the drug — anywhere from a half hour to four hours — and any specific handling requirements,” Shehata says. “There might be opportunities for alternative care models to be introduced here. The ability for nurses to teach patients how to self-administer the medicines is an important facet to this.
“However, some patients undergoing infusions of certain medications need to have vital signs tracked and need monitoring for adverse reactions,” he continues. “One option is to use telehealth with telemetry to remotely track a patient’s vital signs to ensure that patients are not suffering from adverse events while undergoing infusion. Another option is the nurse administering the drug can also leave the patient with a cell phone to call if there is any problem with a medication that requires several hours of infusion time. The response time has to be acceptable, and clinical risk has to be appropriate in these matters.”
Steven F. Robins, managing partner and principal at The New England Consulting Group, says while most infusions will still be administered in traditional sites such as hospitals and outpatient clinics, “there will be an evolution towards moving a number of chronic treatments to the home,” including dialysis, a shift that he says already was occurring before the pandemic. “In order for this shift to be significant, however, there will need to be improvements across the integration of smart technologies, including HIPAA-compliant integration of remote equipment and patient monitoring. It is important to remember that during the COVID-19 crisis, some of these requirements have been relaxed.”
Robins tells AIS Health that “we also expect to see a number of diagnostic procedures that are conducted by labs or in providers’ offices move into the home setting. This will result from a combination of emerging technologies integrated with smartphones, as well as providers starting to offer in-home options like mobile imaging stations that can be easily cleaned as they move from patient home to patient home.”
“The outpatient or infusion center-based model is great, but it is going to need multiple approaches tied to the complexity of treatment and also the consistency of treatment. The problem is that the current model is based on convenience for the health system,” asserts Shehata. “This could require some changes in the pharmaceutical supply chain to have the medications delivered at home rather than the infusion center or hospital, but a number of specialty pharmacies manage this process. Home delivery also can help patients who have transportation issues. Having care delivered at the home may also have the net effect of improving medication adherence.”
Contact Booker through Jonathan Durrbeck at JDurrbeck@pcipr.com, Kennedy at email@example.com, Newcomer at firstname.lastname@example.org, Robins via Renee E. Paul at email@example.com, Rubinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org, Shehata through Bill Borden at email@example.com and Walk through Susan Turkell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Angela Maas
Infusion Care Provider’s Clinical Expertise and National Scale Ensure High-Quality Care in a Lower-Risk Setting
BANNOCKBURN, Ill., April 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Option Care Health, Inc. (“Option Care Health”) (NASDAQ: OPCH), the nation’s largest independent provider of home and alternate site infusion services, is on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in collaboration with our nation’s hospitals and their clinical teams to ensure patients continue to receive vital care. Option Care Health provides essential infusion services that enable patients to transition home from the hospital sooner, freeing up beds for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Serving patients in all 50 states, Option Care Health is easing the burden on strained health systems in critical markets. Physicians and patients rely on infusion therapies for a wide variety of acute and chronic needs, from nutrition support and immune disorders to infections and neurologic conditions. Option Care Health is a critical part of the pandemic response, developing unique solutions that safely transition patients requiring infusion therapy out of the hospital – flexing capacity by deploying and shifting resources where the need is the greatest and utilizing the more than 125 infusion sites it operates across the country.
“We are fighting this pandemic side by side with our health system partners, fully prepared and able to support the needs of their patients who can transition home to continue their therapy. Whether they are in pre-plan preparation or already at surge capacity in a pandemic hotspot, our team is responding quickly and effectively to meet their needs,” said Harriet Booker, Chief Operating Officer of Option Care Health. “We’re not missing a beat. If our partners need us to accommodate a 10 p.m. bedside discharge for a patient on IV antibiotics medication, transfer a rheumatoid arthritis patient from a hospital-based ambulatory care center or virtually discharge an immunocompromised patient to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we’re where they need us to be.”
Option Care Health’s comprehensive network and business continuity plans ensure its ability to provide infusion pharmacy and nursing care to patients on a consistent and reliable basis nationwide. This real-time agility employs added shifts, remote staffing rotations and expanded pharmacy hours to compound and administer vital medications. In addition, Option Care Health has the ability to redeploy clinical resources to cities with the greatest need.
Option Care Health has implemented rigorous protocols to ensure the safety of patients and staff working directly with its infectious disease experts and following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. These measures include comprehensive training of employees, strict protocols for infection control at home and infusion suites, screening of staff and patients for COVID-19 symptoms, ongoing virus-specific updates and education and the use of personal protection equipment (PPE). Staff members can call an Option Care Health COVID-19 hotline 24/7 to address questions regarding their health or a patient’s health.
“Infusion at home or an infusion suite is a safe and effective care setting that is even more vital during times of national emergency, such as the current COVID-19 crisis,” said John C. Rademacher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Option Care Health. “Our highly skilled team of healthcare professionals provide infusion services that deliver hope to patients and physicians by easing the burden on hospital inpatient census, while lowering the patient’s risk and ensuring they receive excellent care after they are discharged.”
Option Care Health’s clinical team, consisting of 2,900 nurses, dietitians and pharmacists, annually care for more than 220,000 patients of all ages. The Option Care Health clinical team elevates the infusion therapy experience through customized care plans specific to every patient. Experienced clinicians and nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to answer questions and provide support for patients, families and providers.
For more information on Option Care Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit optioncarehealth.com/coronavirus.
About Option Care Health
Option Care Health is the nation’s largest independent provider of home and alternate site infusion services. With over 5,000 teammates, including 2,900 clinicians, we work compassionately to elevate standards of care for patients with acute and chronic conditions in all 50 states. Through our clinical leadership, expertise and national scale, Option Care Health is re-imagining the infusion care experience for patients, customers and employees. To learn more, please visit our website at OptionCareHealth.com.
How are you updating Option Care Health’s Highly Infectious Disease (HID) policy in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Option Care Health has always had a robust emergency management plan and HID policy in place. This policy outlines our response to all highly infectious diseases based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Furthermore, we maintain a task force consisting of multiple clinical and operational leaders, which meets with our infectious disease consultant frequently to review and update our response plans related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we learn more about this unprecedented pandemic, our HID policy is being referenced, monitored and updated as needed. Components of the policy include:
- Identifies the responsibility for monitoring the CDC website as well as applicable state and federal resources related to the HID
- Describes the collaboration between departments required for an effective response and the necessity for counsel with an infectious disease medical consultant to ensure appropriate actions that protect staff, families, and patients.
- Promptly secures adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies
- Implements screening tools for risk stratification
- Includes up-to-date information regarding vaccines and any other preemptive treatment
- Outlines responsibility for fulfillment of required tasks
- Summarizes tracking for both patient and employee infections and identifies those responsible for reporting
- Defines patient management principles
- Explains management of human resources, including the allowance for flexible attendance and telecommuting
- Specifies required training both upon hire and annually at a minimum
- Addresses patient prioritization, handling new referrals, and implementation of an emergency plan
- Identifies respiratory hygiene, handwashing, standard, and droplet precautions
- Describes PPE use, order of donning and doffing as well as patient education regarding PPE and overall infection control
- Communicates about the central repository for questions and concerns during a HID outbreak (including pandemic) that is monitored by senior members of the clinical services department
Are you experiencing any service issues/shortage of nurses?
At this time, we are not experiencing any major service issues or shortage of nurses. We are constantly monitoring CDC and WHO information and will provide what is needed to promote the health and safety of our team members, while delivering needed care to the community based on CDC guidelines.
What are you doing to keep your nurses safe?
The health and safety of all employees is our top priority. Our infectious disease prevention plan calls for PPE and education of our team members and patients on the following:
- Preventive actions that have been suggested to help prevent the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Steer clear of crowds whenever possible
- Necessary PPE for our clinicians (including goggles, mask, and gowns if needed) in our cleanrooms as well as employees in contact with patients who have a HID
- Proper donning and doffing is vital to protect patients and employees
- Consider having the coughing/sneezing patient or caregiver wear a mask
- If an employee is sick, our HR policies are designed for additional PTO or remote work as needed
- Screening every patient in advance of a face to face encounter to identify patients with a potential risk and to ensure proper PPE is on hand for the visit
What are you doing to protect your patients?
The screening we do is intended to protect patients as well.
Prior to an infusion suite visit, patients additionally must complete an intake questionnaire before any appointment with an Option Care Health team member. Nurses and other care staff are using PPE in accordance with the CDC guidelines.
Above all, we want to assure you that we are taking active measures to help protect patients, our healthcare workers and employees from COVID-19. Our infusion suite network across the United States can help protect healthier or immunocompromised patients from the impacted COVID-19 population.
How are you maintaining the safety of your infusion suites?
Option Care Health follows HID and pandemic protocols for maintaining cleanliness of our infusion suites. On top of our infection prevention plans, we are also ensuring:
- Infusion suites will be re-stocked and cleaned on a frequent basis and will be maintained in a clean, patient-ready condition, at all times
- Manage patient flow into infusion suites by limiting points of entry to reduce foot traffic and maximize spacing
- Pre-screen patients by phone before their scheduled appointment and upon facility entry to minimize the chance for exposure
- Counter tops and work surfaces will remain clear of clutter and disinfected between each use, including prior to preparation of any medications or sterile supplies for patient use
- Patient and visitors’ chairs, diagnostic equipment, infusion room tables and non-disposable equipment used for patient care as well as all equipment used by a patient while in the treatment room, will be disinfected with an approved sanitizer (i.e. Sani wipes) between patients or when visibly soiled
- Waiting room chairs and floors in the infusion suite will be cleaned daily and after each patient visit
- Patient and guest restrooms shall be cleaned and disinfected weekly and after each use, if the individual has a known infection
- Additional cleaning precautions and procedures:
- Differentiated disinfecting protocols implemented based on levels of facility exposure
- CDC-approved cleaners for disinfection containing alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
- Staff wears disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and discards gloves after
- Scheduling patients at alternating times when possible and ensuring a minimum of 6 feet of space between chairs during concurrent appointments
How do you plan to service patients in the event a pharmacy branch closes?
At Option Care Health, providing extraordinary care for our patients is at the center of everything we do – and this has never been more important than right now. As the nation’s largest infusion provider, Option Care Health is uniquely positioned to treat patients in all 50 states, due to our nationwide pharmacy network.
Each of our pharmacies has updated an emergency dispensing and compounding plan, which includes back up plans based on adequate staffing and appropriate licensure. At least one back up compounding pharmacy has been identified for each existing site. Our technology platforms and multi-state licenses will allow us to transfer prescriptions as needed in the event of a partial or complete shutdown of a particular pharmacy.
Dear Option Care Health Patients and Customers,
Providing extraordinary care for our patients is at the center of everything we do – and this has never been more important than right now. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation unfolds, please know we are actively monitoring CDC guidelines and working with Infectious Disease experts so we can continue to provide care – and keep our patients and team members safe.
Protecting Patients and Team Members is our top priority
As the nation’s largest infusion provider, we have always had an Infectious Disease Prevention Plan, which calls for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and education of our team members and patients. This is what we do. In light of the coronavirus, we have augmented our plan and mobilized a response team that meets daily to review updates reported by the CDC, as well as state and local health departments across the country. Due to the rapidly changing situation, we are proactively taking steps to keep our team members and patients informed and protected from the spread of any illness.
Maintaining continuity of care
Our Supply Chain team is working with our vendors across the country to make sure we have adequate supplies available for both patient care and PPE for our team members, so we can maintain continuity of care. This situation can be stressful and overwhelming for our patients, many of whom have acute and chronic conditions. We are thankful we can treat patients in the safe environment of their own homes and our alternate infusion suites, (AIS), which reduces exposure to further risk in more public settings.
We want you to know we are here for you during this difficult time. At this time, we are continuing to accept and service referrals to care for patients. Please continue to check our website – and the CDC website – for the latest information.
President & CEO
- As the nation’s largest infusion provider, we are uniquely positioned to treat patients in the safe environment of their own homes and our alternate infusion suites (AIS), which reduces their exposure to further risk in more public settings.
- We’ve always had an Infectious Disease Prevention Plan, which calls for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and education of our staff and patients. In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we are actively monitoring CDC guidelines and working with Infectious Disease experts and updating our plans, policies and guidelines as appropriate. We continue to accept and service referrals to care for patients.
- In the event of an employee exposure, including travel to countries that are determined by the CDC to be “Widespread Sustained (ongoing) Transmission,” we have asked employees to please alert Human Resources so that we can determine a go forward plan that may include staying home or working from home for at least 14 days upon their exposure or return from travel.
- Option Care Health, in conjunction with our Infectious Disease expert and in accordance with CDC guidelines, is currently screening all new and existing patients prior to in-person contact. For patients determined to be at risk (due to travel or known exposure), a registered nurse will follow up with both the patient and the prescriber for next steps.
- We are providing updated education and information to our teams on an almost daily basis.
- Our Supply Chain team is working with our vendors to make sure that Option Care Health has adequate supplies available for both patient care and PPE for our employees to maintain continuity of care.