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ABBOTT, BAXTER AND AHSC COLLABORATING ON AT-HOME ANTIBIOTIC

Executive Summary

ABBOTT, BAXTER AND AHSC COLLABORATING ON AT-HOME ANTIBIOTIC infusion therapy reimbursement effort through a project run under the auspices of the Health Industry Manufacturers Assn. (HIMA). The three companies are funding an effort to collect background information for soliciting govt. reimbursement. The first step in the project was the selection of Pierson, Ball & Dowd as the law firm to examine legal precedents for reimbursement coverage and Lewin and Associates as a consulting firm to prepare economic arguments. HIMA is acting as the coordinating body for the project and has contracted with the two advisors. However, the three specific members are paying for the project through a special assessment. A non-HIMA member, Caremark, is also reportedly interested in participating in the project. The joint effort indicates the increasing awareness among hospital supply companies of the importance of coverage/reimbursement decisions as the initial step in developing a new technology market. The three companies are working together on the spadework to expand the common market in which they compete. The companies are beginning the effort to convince the Health Care Financing Administration to extend Medicare coverage and reimbursement to at-home antibiotic therapy with a realistic view of the difficulties. Baxter, for example, commented in its annual report that "concerns about expanding patient populations have caused many governments to adopt conservative, and sometimes inadequate, policies towards reimbursement." If the companies fail to convince HCFA to allow coverage, they may seek the legislative route to have at-home antibiotic therapy covered.

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