WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a bill to extend and expand access to Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment administered in the home for Medicare patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDD).
“It is critical that the most vulnerable Americans receive affordable and effective at-home care,” said Congressman Brady. “By extending this Medicare pilot program, we can help thousands of Americans with weakened immune systems receive life-saving treatments while we work towards a more permanent solution.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has further necessitated access to lifesaving therapies from the comfort and safety of one’s home,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “For those living with PIDD, IVIG treatments provide an essential lifeline to enable them to live healthy, productive lives. The Continuing Access to In-Home IVIG Act will build upon the success of the Medicare IVIG demonstration project and ensure that thousands of patients retain their access to the vital services they need.”
“Many people with primary immunodeficiency (PI) rely on regular immune globulin treatments to stay healthy and go about their daily lives. This legislation will ensure Medicare beneficiaries with PI will continue to have access to this lifesaving treatment in the home, which is especially important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said John Boyle, President and CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation. “We commend Representatives Matsui and Brady for their longstanding commitment to our population and their bipartisan leadership of this legislation. We look forward to working with them to get it passed into law before the existing demonstration expires in December.”
BACKGROUND: This bipartisan bill extends the Medicare IVIG demonstration project through 2022 and increases the number of beneficiaries who may enroll in the program from 4,000 to 6,500. The legislation also requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to report on the first six years of the demonstration, examining the benefits of providing coverage and payment for items and services necessary to administer IVIG in the home and the demonstration’s impact on beneficiary health and well-being.
The Medicare IVIG demonstration project was originally created by the Medicare IVIG Access Act, co-authored by Rep. Matsui and Rep. Brady, and passed into law in 2013. The bundled payment demonstration began in October 2014 and was extended in September 2017; it is currently set to expire at the end of 2020.
Many individuals affected by PIDD – which are disorders in which part of the body's immune system is missing or does not function properly caused by intrinsic or genetic defects – can live healthy, productive lives with proper treatment. The “Continuing Access to In-Home IVIG Act’’ ensures that Medicare beneficiaries maintain access to this lifesaving therapy from the safety and comfort of their home.