Congress urged to fix Medicare flaw

Lawmakers and Medicare enrollees have banded together to send Congress a message that a flaw in the Medicare system which deters coverage for patients who administer treatments at home should be remedied.

The Medicare home Infusion Therapy Coverage Act of 2009 was introduced earlier this year in an effort to cover treatment done in a person's home, rather than a hospital.

Senator Blanche L. Lincoln said that in Arkansas, residents on Medicare who need home infusion therapy cannot afford it because it isn't covered through the government program.

"Not only is this an extreme hardship for the patient, it actually results in a higher cost to Medicare.

Congress urged to fix Medicare flaw This legislation would provide for full Medicare coverage of home infusion therapy, ultimately lowering costs and improving patient outcomes," the Democrat said.

Infusion therapy involves medication that is administered through a needle or catheter, which is prescribed for infections unresponsive to oral antibiotics.

Senator Johnny Isakson shared a personal story about his son benefiting from infusion therapy.

"[M]y son needed to be treated with intravenous medicines a few years ago. I believe he was able to heal faster because he underwent treatment at home. Everyone should be afforded this opportunity," the Republican said.

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