CVS Health To Facilitate Cancer Treatment At Home
CVS Health is collaborating with Cancer Treatment Centers of America or CTCA, an oncology network of hospitals and outpatient care centers, to increase access to chemotherapy at home for eligible, fully insured patients, the company said in a statement.
According to the company, home-based chemotherapy is a convenient, accessible way to help avoid unnecessary risk or exposure to COVID-19 from inpatient or in-office cancer care during the ongoing pandemic. The in-home chemotherapy provision would also ensure continuity of critical cancer care.
The healthcare major said its infusion care business Coram will administer cancer treatment at home for eligible CTCA patients. The move would offer flexibility to receive treatment to patients who may have delayed their care due to COVID-19, and would help increase access to important home-based cancer care during and beyond the pandemic.
CVS Health, which owns retail pharmacy chain CVS Pharmacy, noted that Coram has the ability to reach 97 percent of the U.S. population. The companies are piloting the program in the Atlanta market and will expand to other geographies over the next few months.
Under the program, Coram’s home infusion capabilities will be coupled with training in chemotherapy administration based on Oncology Nursing Society guidelines.
The service will be offered to clinically eligible and fully insured CTCA patients with a range of cancers, including breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancers, and some genitourinary cancers on particular chemotherapy/immunotherapy medications.
The patients will begin their first cycles of infused chemotherapy in the hospital or outpatient care center, and, if tolerated over a number of months, can be transitioned home for continued infusions.
Once home, patients will receive in-home Coram nurse visits to administer the therapy. There will also be regular telehealth visits and digital therapeutic check-ins with their CTCA clinician, care team, pharmacists and other clinical staff as needed.
Chevon Rariy, CTCA telehealth program director, said, “For a variety of reasons, COVID-19 has caused far too many people to skip or delay treatments. We’re seeing a 50% reduction in infusions, and, while a slight delay in treatments may have been appropriate at the pandemic’s onset, data is now pointing to increased mortality risk with every month of delayed care.”
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