About Our Infusion Suite
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
We are proud to offer the option of infusion treatment to our patients in the comfort of our clinic. If you and Dr. Phillips choose an infusible treatment to help manage your disease and reduce your symptoms, our team will handle the process of confirming insurance coverage and scheduling care that is centered around your comfort.
Our infusion suite is equipped with snacks, refreshments, blankets, wi-fi, magazines and television so you can sit back and relax while our clinical team ensures that all goes well with your treatment.
Diseases We Treat in Our Infusion Suite
The most common diseases we treat are rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Many of the same drugs are actually used for these disease states. We also treat severe cases of gout and lupus. Additionally, we offer infusible treatments for patients with non-rheumatologic diseases such as Crohn’s, Ulcerative colitis, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Patients who infuse these drugs have often failed to respond to oral medications and are typically highly symptomatic, sometimes disabled by their diseases.
Why You Should Visit Our Infusion Suite Opposed to a Hospital
Compared to the hospital site of care, our infusion suite can offer more cost-effective care which reduces exposure to sicker patients, and which is both quicker and easier to get in and out of compared to going to a hospital.
How Do the Drugs Administered in the Infusion Suite Work?
We administer biologic drugs to our patients in our infusion suite. The first of these drugs were approved approximately 20 years ago, and since then, have revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory diseases, such as RA. In general, these drugs are targeted therapies that inhibit specific pathways of inflammation which have been shown to be active in patients with RA. These drugs are all highly complex molecules manufactured under very technically precise protocols.
What is the Goal For Your Patients Who are Administered Drugs Within the Infusion Suite?
Hopefully, the drugs will help show improvement in symptoms. Our hope is that patients who are administered drugs in our infusion suite will see a positive transformation in their overall disease management and a reduction in symptoms. This may include reduced joint pain, improved function, less fatigue and closer to living a normal life! The most gratifying results occur when we can help a patient get to low disease activity or remission (disease activity terms implying very good disease control).
What Side Effects Should I Watch For in the Infusion Suite?
Of most importance is to watch for any sign of an allergic reaction. While these are very uncommon, they can rarely be serious, and especially with treatments infused into the vein, may occur quickly. We always encourage patients to let our infusion suite staff know in advance of your treatment if you are feeling unwell, are fighting an infection, or have other acute issues, as it might be best to reschedule the infusion. While in the infusion suite, we ask patients to inform our staff immediately of any allergic symptoms (scratchy throat, rash, itching, tongue swelling, etc).
Will my Insurance Cover My Treatment in the Infusion Suite?
Biologic therapies for rheumatic diseases are expensive, and there are often insurance hurdles to overcome before they are approved. “Fail first” or “step” edits may require use of an insurance preferred drug which may not always be the most clinically appropriate for the patient. Burdensome prior authorization protocols are often reviewed by non-clinicians at the insurance company. Newer insurance protocols are sometimes preventing copay assistance funds from counting towards the patient’s deductible, thus leading these assistance funds to be exhausted mid-year.
Many of these barriers are less common on the medical side of insurance plans (for example, in-office treatments such as drugs administered within the infusion suite) and more common on the pharmacy side (for example, self-administered treatments), thus sometimes making an in-office treatment a better logistical choice.
There are many benefits to infusing biological drugs within our infusion suite as opposed to a hospital. Here are a few of the benefits of seeking treatment at our infusion suite:
#1 We provide a very comfortable and relaxed environment within our medical office
#2 You get a more personal experience with a healthcare provider who routinely will see you within our office
#3 Less exposure to sick patients
#4 Cost is generally lower compared to visiting a hospital or administering biological drugs yourself at home
#5 Shorter time spent in the clinic as opposed to typically long wait times at hospitals
#6 Typically subject to fewer step edits for insurance coverage
#7 Allows for closer monitoring of patient’s progress and/or any complications
Speak with your healthcare provider at Paducah Rheumatology during your next appointment to see if the infusion suite offers a treatment that may benefit you.