NHIA 2024: Monday, March 25 Recap

Monday Recap from NHIA 2024

Monday morning began with a brand-new flow for the NHIA Annual Conference with a high-octane networking breakfast before the General Session. We were fortunate to hear from 9th Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin, M.D., who shared lessons learned during his time in public service leading the largest integrated health care system in the country.

Interestingly, despite initially thinking that he would only be bringing his experience leading health systems in the private sector to his public service—he said he is now mostly focused on bringing lessons from public programs to the private sector. He was impressed at VA programs that treated not only medical issues, but also “psychological, spiritual, economic, social challenges” as well and that this is important for any health care system address. He cited an example from his first days in office visiting the VA Adaptive Sports Clinic in Aspen, CO, where physically or emotionally disabled veterans were enabled to participate in adaptive competitive skiing—which helped many “regain purpose and joy.”

He also shared his beliefs and actions he took while in office for specific policy measures including providing full practice authority to pharmacists and nurses as well as encouraging heath care to move into the home. It was his firm stand that, “no veteran should ever have to leave their home for health issues if they didn’t want to.” He also shared figures that showed that patient health care cost to the government was cut in half when care was moved to the home.

We also so proud to recognize Jeannie Counce as this year’s Gene Graves Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for her near 3 decades of service as the editor of INFUSION magazine and revolutionizer of communications across our industry.

Infusion Policy Update

NHIA shared the latest relevant policy updates with attendees during a featured morning session, including the continued advocacy for passage of the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act, which would fix Medicare Part B coverage for home infusion. The bill defines pharmacy services and would include payment for non-nursing days. The association is taking a data-driven approach to justifying what it thinks rates should be and backing the underlying policy suggestion for the need to improve patient access, according to Shea McCarthy, NHIA’s Director of Legislative Affairs.

With bipartisan Congressional sponsors and broad stakeholder support, the next step is to obtain a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score on the legislation’s impact on federal spending, which could come at any time in the next few weeks. “That could unlock committee considerations like the mark-up process, which from a process perspective would begin different conversations,” said McCarthy, whose timeline works for having the bill included in an end-of-year package.

NHIA has launched a new grassroots advocacy campaign enabling stakeholders to share personalized letters to their members of Congress in support of the legislation and encouraging them to pass the bill later this year.

While the Preserving Patient Access to Home Infusion Act addresses the narrow problem of coverage for medications administered by infusion pump—37 drugs—it’s an important precedent, according to McCarthy. “There are approximately 300 infusion drugs that can be administered in the home, but most don’t require a pump. We want to ensure that coverage for them also includes the supplies and pharmacy services necessary for safe, effective treatment.”

Sterile Compounding Clinic

The Sterile Compounding Clinic lab kicked off today as participants got hands-on training in a simulated clean room environment in an exclusive area in the NHIA Expo Hall. Participants alternate between this optional lab time and dedicated education by leading experts in the area.

One fascinating session today, “Mythbusters: Sterile Compounding Edition,” reviewed common myths in sterile compounding before setting the record straight.

Roundtable Discussions

Attendees participated in NHIA’s popular Roundtable Discussions with a new session format this year rotating between tables 4 times every 25-minutes while choosing between 40 unique and engaging topics led by an expert moderator. Every table was packed and the conversations were incredibly productive and informative. We heard great feedback about the knowledge sharing enabled by this unique conference feature.

Elsewhere Around NHIA

Sessions kicked off in the transformed Learning Lab in the hall, where attendees are able to tune in for exhibitor education in a fun and dynamic environment. We also featured NHIA’s first-ever Headshot Studio, where attendees were treated to free professional headshots to enhance their digital image.

The afternoon was packed with education sessions across 5 tracks as well as our casual infusion side chats. We closed the night with a fundraising event recognizing and supporting the great work of the National Home Infusion Foundation at the indoor/outdoor Reverbery venue with live music and great people.

Thank you to our supporters:

Inovalon for their support of the Industry Keynote General Session

Baxter for their support of the Sterile Compounding Clinic

BBraun for their support of the Sterile Compounding Clinic

Contec for their support of the Sterile Compounding Clinic

Prudential Cleanroom Services for their support of the Sterile Compounding Clinic

NuAire for their support of the Sterile Compounding Clinic

Sagebrush Health for their support of the Roundtables


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