Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and RWJBarnabas Health have launched New Jersey’s first home infusion pilot program, offering patients with various types of cancer a comfortable way to receive their medicine without going to a hospital, the companies announced Nov. 8.
The program, run in partnership with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and dubbed the Horizon Home Infusion Pilot Program, leverages telemedicine to limit patients’ exposure to infectious diseases and to receive one-on-one care from a home health care provider.
“As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the patient is always at the center of everything we do. We take tremendous pride in ensuring our patients come first and are committed to providing the highest level of care coupled with excellent patient experience and satisfaction,” said Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Dr. Steven Libutti, senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health. “Offering the opportunity to transition eligible patients from infusion centers to home-based infusion of chemotherapy for the first time in New Jersey speaks to our mission of providing the most compassionate world-class cancer care and is what we strive to do with this pilot program.”
Eligibility for participation in the pilot is based on chemotherapy regimen and level of safety.
“Medical professionals have been tasked with meeting the ongoing needs of cancer patients while navigating the pandemic, this includes safely continuing the treatment of our patients,” said Michael Kane, executive director of Oncology Pharmacy Services at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “There are many advantages to receiving care in the home, and the pilot program is helping us find the appropriate balance of potential treatments to be administered in an alternative home setting with the potential of becoming an option for patients even after the pandemic is over.”
The pilot program launched in September 2020. At the time, cancer patients weren’t eligible for the program.
“[I]t became clear during the pandemic that our members were putting off life-saving treatments and therapies, so we looked for innovative partners to expand at-home treatment into oncology,” said Saira Jan, vice president and chief pharmacy officer for Horizon BCBSNJ. “By partnering with the Rutgers Cancer Institute and RWJBarnabas Health, providers and payers are piloting new ways to make the cancer care experience safe, simpler, and more convenient for the patient.”