Let’s be real for a moment.
There is nothing normal about the environment of a typical hospital or clinic. It is — for good reason — sterile, cold and, thanks to COVID-19, increasingly impersonal. Even so, in acute moments there is no acceptable alternative. A hospital is where you want to be.
But as access becomes an increasingly complex issue — due in part to both the aging of America and an industry in the midst of transition — aspects of the healthcare delivery ecosystem are coming full circle, and returning to the home.
And we’re not just talking about tech-driven tele-health. Though the new-now brand of video conferencing adds a new dimension to the availability conversation, it falls short when anything beyond assessment, advice and counsel are called for.
This is why one of the cornerstones of this transition in American healthcare is the growing home infusion market.
Each day 60,000 individuals across the United States receive infusion therapy treatments in the comfort of their own homes.
That sentence is remarkable on three counts: the (growing) number of patients encompassed; the often complex and critical nature of infusion therapies; and the entire in-home delivery idea.
Yet, this is far from the whole story.
In-home access without the connection that comes with in-person delivery would qualify as only slight evolution.
We believe one of the accelerants of In-home infusion as a healthcare solution whose time has come is the fact that nurses are central to the process. Highly qualified nurse practitioners bring humanity and personal warmth to the delivery of each infusion therapy.
So for patients who require ongoing infusion therapies for issues not treated with oral medications, there is a preferred alternative to repeated visits to a healthcare facility.
For the 60,000 individuals every single day, this offers a return to normalcy.
Before The Pandemic
It is not surprising that even before things were stressed to the limits in the spring of 2020, doctors across the US were turning to Specialty Pharmacies in order to deliver infusion therapies directly to patients in the home. The safety, security and humanity that are delivered was a combination that was already disrupting the way many thought about infusion therapy.
According to a Market Analysis Report from Grand View Research, in 2019 home infusion represented an approximately $23.7 billion segment of healthcare, serving 3.2 million patients across the United States. Projections have revenue growing to $41.5 billion by 2027. And that translates to delivering essential therapies to approximately 6 million individuals.
(It is worth noting that most revenue projections were based on pre-COVID-19 pro forma models, having no way to predict what 2020 would bring.)
The wide acceptance and growth of In-home infusion can be chalked up to a number of factors.
An aging baby boomer population faces predictable healthcare decisions, including mounting issues of mobility. It is, therefore, not surprising that the comfort and convenience of a home visit has significant market appeal.
Further, when compared to the long term therapies required for immune deficiencies, cancer, and congestive heart failure conditions to name just a few, home infusion represents a more cost-effective alternative to repeated hospital visits. This factor alone should accelerate in-home health opportunities beyond infusion.
Add these factors to the (regrettable) fact that incidents of cancer requiring chemotherapy continue to rise, and we have the crux of the projected growth in demand.
On The Cutting Edge Of The New Now
As noted earlier, projections for growth in revenue scarcely factor the realities of the current healthcare marketplace. Covid-19, on top of regulatory volatility has served to speed up innovative thinking, particularly around service delivery.
Concerns addressing patients with compromised immune systems are a significant issue in the best of circumstances. Mix in a pandemic, and the well-being of patients takes on an entirely new compliment of challenges.
In dozens of industries, 2020 has focused strategic thinking, creative innovation and courageous investments in ways few would have imagined a year ago. We’ve had conversations with leaders in healthcare and a number of other industries who believe they’ve witnessed accelerated growth that, pre-Covid, would likely have taken a decade.
But in-home infusion was ahead of the game.
An Approach To Service Built For Today’s Reality
In-home infusion is a blended response of baseline health considerations — issues such as minimizing exposure, ensuring privacy and safety, and providing one-on-one personal attention — coupled with a go-to-market model that delivers sophisticated infusion therapies at reduced cost — for both patient and related infrastructure.
Thanks to the forward thinking leaders who pioneered in-home infusion, patients can quickly return to a semblance of normalcy.
Today’s patient need not deal with mobility issues, or the inconvenience and added expense of multiple visits to a facility.
By prescribing in-home infusion, we dispense with the antiquated image of the hospital room, and an IV connected to a bag dangling from a steel pole.
In-home infusion was designed for this moment — delivering therapies, with care, to the patients we serve. And it is an early indicator of bigger innovations to come.