This is topic Medicare and IV infusion - Any way to infuse at home? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by Robi101 (Member # 43709) on :
I was told by lyme doc I need IV. Since I am on Medicare I was told this takes place at an infusion center. It will be Six weeks for 3 hours every day. That is difficult if not impossible for me. Can I get the ABX paid for by Medicare and have a friend help,me infuse at home? I know they won't pay for home health but if I could get the medicine and supplies, I have friends willing to help administer.

Any info appreciated......
Posted by susank (Member # 22150) on :
Do you have a port or a Picc line?

Are you sure you can't get home health care?

I was able to with my Medicare Advantage plan.

I did what others here have done - I got "saline locks" ie temporary needles.

The "needle" is actually a short plastic catheter that goes in a forearm vein.
The tubing is outside the vein - not inside like a Picc. The extra tubing can be taped and covered with a tiny gauze "sock" to keep it in place when not in use.

Saline locks - also called Hep.Locks need to be flushed with saline every eight hours and locked with Heparin.

I learned how to do it - easy peasy.
My home health care nurse would come weekly to put one in - I would infuse myself - and actually removed the catheter myself. I think the max they can stay in is three days. Nurse would come again to put in another one - alternating arms.

If interested I could email you photos of mine.

I ultimately learned to start an IV on myself using butterfly needles.

My doctor OK'd it - so did the pharmacy and apparently my insurance company.

I never had a port or a PICC line - never wanted one. Not sure but I think another person has do the dressing changes on them.

With a saline lock I could do it all myself.

Hope this helps - any more questions - just ask!

I never left mine in more than two days - but I think I worked it out that if one put in on a Monday - I could infuse that day and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday then remove it.
ie four days infusing - three days off.

To infuse daily - a nurse would need to come twice a week. Or maybe the clinic could do the saline lock - infuse that day - then send you home with it to infuse yourself - then go back in a few days - remove that one - start another one?

Worth asking about for sure. Good luck!!
Posted by bluelyme (Member # 47170) on :
I use infuserve and a port paid for port but not meds ..dont have medicare yet ..keep us posted ...maybe with another dx icd code they will cover more than 30 days. ..?
Posted by dbpei (Member # 33574) on :
I wonder if you could use Infuserve America to order all of your meds and picc line supplies. They are extremely helpful and between your doctor and Infuserve, you would find out everything you need to order.

Infuserve requires payment up front, but they charge much less than home infusion companies or hospitals with infusion services.

Infuserve will bill Medicare after you pay them and will reimburse you with anything they receive from Medicare. Most of us with picc lines administer our own meds at home daily. But we need help with caring for the picc line site, which is weekly dressing changes, usually done by a nurse.

Perhaps you could go to the hospital infusion suite for the weekly dressing changes, but administer your own meds at home by using Infuserve. This would actually cost Medicare a lot less!

I am not yet on Medicare, so I don't know if there is a customer service you could call to discuss this option. Perhaps your Lyme doc could help you to coordinate things too. Feel free to PM me if you need any additional information. It can be overwhelming at first.
Posted by Donna Campbell (Member # 52157) on :
I am not sure that you can I get the ABX paid for by Medicare and have a friend help, you infuse at home, but instead, I know a person who can advise you what to do in this situation, what fits you the best. If you still need to be advised and want to get the point of view of a professional in this field, then I think you should access MedicareFAQ. I hope Lindsay Engle will be able to help you the best way. Stay safe and have a wonderful day!

[ 10-22-2020, 02:15 PM: Message edited by: Donna Campbell ]
Posted by Bartenderbonnie (Member # 49177) on :
I believe Medicare will cover home health care nursing if you are a home bound patient. Easy to qualify for when one has Lyme. Many iof us are bed-bound for days each month.
Ask your primary doc if she/he could help you get home nursing visits.
Posted by lightfoot (Member # 2536) on :
My experience....

Original Medicare with a Med Supplement...started May of 2017 for two to three years.

Medicare paid for the Port (highly recommended).

Any IV drug can be bought out of pocket and done at home. I did that with rocephin and clyndo. Doxy is prohibitive in cost as many are. The most cost efficient is to use an infusion center. That's the only way I could afford the doxy.

I paid out of pocket for and ordered my supplies from Infuserv with a dioctor's prescription. No reimbursement. They also have drugs...check for pricing everywhere. I was surprised to get the best price on roephin at a hospital pharmacy at one point.

I did my own dressing and huber needle changes. You can get a lesson from an infusion center or Home Health. I had done all of this in the early 2000's so I reviewed on line and went through it with my understanding PCP, Nurse Practitioner.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. This was my third go with IV. I had a PICC line the first time and a port the last two times. I still have my port which I continue to service myself.

What drugs are you looking at?

Wishing you luck and healing!

The process becomes routine after a short time. We went tent camping, motelling and visiting family while I was doing all of this.


The guide below is an invaluable resource!!!

Infusing for Lymies:
58 page document including many resources including phone numbers and web addresses.
Posted by bablos (Member # 52235) on :
I was in a similar situation. I needed to undergo treatment in a hospital, but I had no opportunity to quit my job and devote myself to treatment. I considered the option of treatment at home, my wife works as a doctor and could help me with this. However, my insurance does not cover home care. Then I took advantage of the offers from medicare insurance companies in which I got additional medical insurance for myself, namely Medigap Plan F, which was able to cover the costs of drugs that I used while at home.

[ 11-06-2020, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: bablos ]

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