New Jersey cancer center launches state's 1st home infusion program

Eligible cancer patients will soon be able to get infusion treatments at home through a pilot program from New Brunswick-based Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, part of RWJBarnabas Health. 

The program is an expansion of the Horizon Home Infusion Pilot Program, a partnership with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey that launched in September 2020 but didn't initially include cancer patients, according to a Nov. 8 news release. 

The initiative aims to prevent disruption of chemotherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic and limit potential exposure in hospital settings by providing cancer patients care from the comfort of their homes. 

Patients are evaluated for program eligibility based on chemotherapy regimen and safety level. The appropriate infusion system and medications are then selected, and home health aides and trained oncology infusion nurses coordinate care. 

The program is expected to cost the same or less than receiving infusions at the hospital. 

"Just as the implementation of telemedicine has changed how cancer care is delivered, through this innovative pilot program, we know that cancer treatment can be delivered safely, effectively and less expensively at home," said Andrew Evens, DO, associate director for clinical services at Rutgers Cancer Institute and medical director of the oncology service line at West Orange, N.J.-based RWJBarnabas Health. 

"The measures we have taken, and will continue to take, at the Rutgers Cancer Institute together with RWJBarnabas Health to provide cancer care during the pandemic have made our healthcare system stronger and will make cancer care better for patients," Dr. Evens said.

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