The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic demonstrates just how important it is for those individuals with primary immunodeficiency (PI), and others with compromised immune systems, to avoid potentially dangerous healthcare environments. The very nature of PI means our community is especially vulnerable to viruses like influenza and COVID-19. Ensuring that those with PI have continuous access to at-home intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatments during a health emergency and beyond is a major focus of the Immune Deficiency Foundation’s (IDF) advocacy.
IDF has and will continue to be engaged in patient coalition efforts supporting legislative or administrative actions to ensure vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries who had been receiving infused treatments in a hospital or infusion center, are able to access home infusions. Fortunately, beneficiaries in the PI community who meet the recently expanded list of covered PI diagnoses have access to home immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy through subcutaneous Ig therapy (SCIG) or through enrollment in the Medicare IVIG Demonstration (demo). For those who do not meet the criteria for Part B home coverage, such as those with Hypogammaglobulinemia, we continue our advocacy to expand access.
If you are a Medicare beneficiary and do not currently receive Ig therapy at home, we encourage you to explore options, including consulting with your physician to switch to SCIG or enrolling in the demo. Information regarding Medicare IVIG Demonstration is available from CMS, including instructions for enrollment in the demonstration, managed through Noridian Healthcare Solutions.
We should note that while the demo has and can help many PI beneficiaries during the current crisis, the coverage for these services will stop the end of this year if no action is taken by Congress. IDF’s primary advocacy focus this year is to ensure that PI beneficiaries will continue to be able to receive IVIG at home now and for the foreseeable future.
Join IDF on April 23 for our inaugural virtual Advocacy Day and contact your elected representatives about ensuring in-home access to IVIG for Medicare beneficiaries with PI. Keep an eye on your inbox for information on how to participate!