Frequently Asked Questions
Who Administers Home Infusion Therapy?
You or a caregiver will be responsible for administering your home infusion therapy. Your doctor will order your medication and an Upstate HomeCare Clinical Liaison will provide detailed instructions on when and how to administer your medication. In some cases, an experienced home health nurse will come to your home and walk you through the entire process, step by step. It’s helpful to have a caregiver also learn how to administer your infusion medication.
If you have questions or concerns about your medication therapy, please contact us at 877.866.0800.
What If I Don’t Know How to Administer Home Infusion Therapy?
You do not need medical experience to successfully manage your home infusion treatments. Your doctor, Upstate HomeCare and the experienced home health nurses we partner with will provide the training and tools you need to safely and effectively administer home infusion therapy. With proper training, you will learn how to manage your infusion therapy from the comfort of home. Even though you are not in a hospital setting, clinical experts are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to guide you through the entire infusion process.
Is it Safe to Administer Infusion Medications at Home?
Home infusion therapy is a safe alternative to receiving infusion medications in a hospital setting. In some cases, infusions can take hours at a time. Many people prefer to receive their medication from the convenience and comfort of home. Research suggests home infusion therapy may be safer for some patients than receiving infusion therapy in a hospital. In a hospital, you may be exposed to germs and other bacteria that you would not come in contact with at home. By avoiding the potentially harmful bacteria in a hospital, you are reducing your chance of getting an infection.
Your healthcare team will instruct you on the proper infusion procedure to make sure everything is clean and sanitary. In general, if you wash your hands thoroughly, set up a clean infusion area and follow all the instructions provided by Upstate HomeCare and your healthcare team, you will be able to safely administer your infusion medications at home.
Does Home Infusion Therapy Save Me Money?
The cost of home infusion depends on your specific medication therapy, your insurance policy and many other factors. Where you receive your infusion medication can have a significant impact on the cost of your treatment. Many people do save money by managing their infusion therapy from home. One way infusion therapy saves money is by reducing hospital readmissions, which ultimately saves you money.
Is there a Difference Between Infusion Therapy at Home and Infusion Therapy at a Clinic?
When people think of IV lines and infusions, they often think of a hospital setting. Many infusion medications can be administered at a hospital, a physician’s office, an infusion clinic or from home. Your doctor will help you decide which option will be the best location for you to receive infusion therapy.
Can I return any unused medications and supplies?
No. Pharmacy law does not permit the return of medications once they are in the patient’s home. Any extra supplies can be kept for future use (dressing, tape, etc.) or can be donated to a local hospice or medical charity. Billing is done by “per diem,” which means that the patient is billed for days of service, not per item. Our staff makes every attempt to anticipate when therapy will be completed so that you are not left with excess supplies.
Who do I contact for questions about medications or deliveries?
You can contact us at 877-286-0800 at any time. We are always available to talk about your questions or concerns.
For questions related to:
Medications – call extension 6011
Nursing in the:
Clinton/Utica area: extension 6000
Syracuse area: extension 6001
Rochester area: extension 6003
Buffalo-area: extension 6042
Albany area: extension 6020
What do I do with equipment when I'm done?
Simply call our office to arrange for our trained staff to pick up your equipment. Call us toll-free at 877-286-0800. To reach the local office dial one of the local extensions:
Clinton/Utica: extension 6028
Syracuse: extension 6005
Rochester: extension 6019
Buffalo: extension 6010
Albany: extension 6020
There is blood backing-up in my tubing. What should I do?
If there is no medication infusing through your line, flush your line as previously instructed and close the clamp. If your catheter does not flush easily, do not flush forcefully. Contact your nurse who will visit to evaluate your line.
Can I shower with this IV?
Yes. Cover your dressing with plastic wrap, secure all outside edges with tape. Do not allow the water stream to spray directly on your IV site. After bathing, remove the plastic wrap immediately and pat dry any moisture that has accumulated under the plastic wrap.
I forgot to take my medicine out of the refrigerator. Can I warm it up in the microwave?
No. It is not safe to warm medication using any heat source. Medication should be warmed to room temperature only. You can hold the medication bag/syringe in your hands, allowing body heat to slowly warm the solution or wait until the medication reaches room temperature.