ContinuumRx is pleased to announce that Felicia Schaps MSN-Ed, RN and Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Compliance, is one of 16 members of the inaugural 2021 Fellow Program (FNHIA) cohort, made up of highly accomplished home and specialty infusion professionals.

The NHIA Fellow Program aims to advance the home and specialty infusion profession by recognizing the contributions and achievements of highly accomplished individuals. NHIA Fellow status is awarded to members who have successfully demonstrated a commitment to the field of home infusion for at least 7 years, have a record of sustained involvement and leadership within NHIA, and have been actively involved in educating practitioners and others.

Learn more about becoming a Fellow!

High-Risk Patients Benefit from National Home Infusion Association’s Pilot Program as part of Operation Warp Speed

MURFREESBORO, Tenn., and BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 19, 2021 — The impact that COVID-19 has had on long-term care facilities (LTC) has been a difficult journey to witness, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting that 100,033 patients and staff have died across the United States as of November 24, 2020. The evolution and introduction of new treatments and vaccines for long-term care patients have been imminent.

National HealthCare Corporation (NYSE American: NHC), a leading senior care provider including almost 100 nursing centers and assisted living communities across ten states, and ContinuumRx, a regional leader in specialized home infusion and infusion suites with partnerships across over 40 hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, have received approval to collaborate and treat COVID-19 patients in six NHC centers in the Knoxville market with Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab, an infusion-based antibody therapy geared to treat high-risk populations, especially patients 65+ who are susceptible to hospitalization or death.

On November 10, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit the emergency use of infusion-based bamlanivimab, and on December 8, 2020, the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA) announced a pilot program, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Operation Warp Speed, to increase the drug’s accessibility through qualified home infusion providers. ContinuumRx is one of 30 NHIA-approved infusion providers who have partnered with long-term care facilities like National HealthCare Corporation to identify, assess, coordinate, dispense, and administer this monoclonal antibody therapy to high-risk COVID-19 patients. With only 500 vials being distributed weekly across its national channels, bamlanivimab provides a unique and specialized benefit for both companies to increase the quality of care of their patients and provide valuable, medical data points around the therapy that currently are not available.

“For the past 50 years, National HealthCare Corporation has been a senior care leader with the vision of caring in a better way day by day. COVID-19 has heightened this commitment even further as we seek the opportunity to have bamlanivimab readily available in the Knoxville market for our high-risk patients to reduce hospitalizations and preserve life,” stated Stephen F. Flatt, President and Chief Executive Officer of National HealthCare Corporation. “Our partnership with ContinuumRx is a historical opportunity to contribute to Operation Warp Speed and protect our 65+ community even further.”

Keith Hartman RPh., Chief Executive Officer of ContinuumRx added, “Being placed in a leadership role by the NHIA, collaborating with NHC, and supporting the accessibility of new therapies like bamlanivimab is an honor and a pivotal opportunity in our industry. We have the potential to save lives safely, curtail the impact of COVID-19, and provide valuable data to the NHIA and Health and Human Services (HHS). The anecdotal outcomes are promising and we look toward expanding the accessibility of this service ever further.”

Why is there a need for bamlanivimab? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 8 out of 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years or older. Additionally, compared to younger adults ages 18-29, adults 65-74 years of age are 5x more likely to be hospitalized and 90x higher more likely to die. When cross-compared with adults 75-84 years of age vs. younger adults, hospitalization jumps to 8x higher and death rates to 220x higher1.

Bamlanivimab is an investigational medicine used for the treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults and adolescents 12 years of age and older with mild to moderate symptoms who weigh 88 pounds (40 kg) or more, and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms or the need for hospitalization. Bamlanivimab is investigational because it is still being studied.

High risk is defined as patients who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI) ≥35
  • Have chronic kidney disease
  • Have diabetes
  • Have immunosuppressive disease
  • Are currently receiving immunosuppressive treatment
  • Are ≥65 years of age

Infusion companies who have been approved by the National Home Infusion Association to administer bamlanivimab are required to follow clear responsibilities which include:

  • Make every effort to perform infusions within 24 hours of receiving a qualified patient referral.
  • Administering 700mg/200ml of bamlanivimab within 2 days of a positive test and within 10 days of symptom onset.
  • Clinically monitor patients during administration and observe patients for at least 1 hour after infusion is complete.
  • Continue to self-isolate patients treated with bamlanivimab and use infection control measures (e.g., wear mask, isolate, social distance, avoid sharing personal items, clean and disinfect “high touch” surfaces, and frequent handwashing) according to CDC guidelines.
  • Collect and submit required data to the NHIA/HHS as per established guidelines.

Patients and/or family members that are managing the long-term care of a high-risk patient should visit National HealthCare Corporation’s website @ nhccare.com for additional information, and medical providers seeking access to bamlanivimab infusion treatments should email info@ContinuumRx.com.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, December 13) Older Adults At greater risk of requiring hospitalization or dying if diagnosed with COVID-19. https://bit.ly/35oSabP

A safer and flexible option during COVID-19.

If you are currently receiving infusion or injection therapies in a hospital or physician’s office setting, now is the time to consider moving your service over to ContinuumRx. With 6 locations across Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia, including two infusion suites in Knoxville, TN, and Chantilly, VA, our commitment is to provide the highest quality of care and make patients as comfortable and safe as possible during their treatments. 

Why should you consider our home infusion or visiting one of ContinuumRx’s infusion suites?

The answer is simple: 1) reducing the chances of contracting COVID-19, 2) having flexibility and quality of life, and 3) safety.

With COVID-19 on the rise and significant space being taken up in hospitals by patients, it makes sense to reduce the risk for infusion patients as they are typically immunocompromised and fall within the “at-risk” category. Even the basic, required tasks of going through pre-screening and emergency preparedness procedures at a hospital can increase risk and exposure rates for an infusion patient.

“Infusion therapy patients are vulnerable to infections and viruses like COVID-19, and ContinuumRx is providing a critical service during the pandemic as we relieve the burden on the hospitals during the unprecedented times while working to ensure that patients who need infusion therapy receive it in the safest manner,”

Carol Sweeney, Vice President of Nursing and Clinical Compliance, ContinuumRx

Flexibility and quality of life are two additional key factors to consider. ContinuumRx’s team works with its patients and their physicians to select a customized infusion therapy based on their condition, lifestyle, and time constraints. For higher-risk patients, especially those with chronic diseases who need to stay on course with managing their treatment, home infusion and infusion suites are comfortable and convenient alternatives where personalized care is heightened, and risk-exposure is reduced. 

Last is safety. ContinuumRx follows the same Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols that hospital- and physician-based infusion centers are required to follow with the benefit of controlling the volume of patients. Below are some of the safety protocols that we follow:

General ContinuumRx Safety Protocols

  • Nursing staff has proper PPE at all times (i.e., face cover, gloves, and gown).
  • Temperature checks on all ContinuumRx staff.
  • Symptom checks on all ContinuumRx staff.
  • Quarantine and work-from-home for potentially exposed employees. 
  • Alerting nursing/warehouse + patients in the home about COVID-19 exposure. 
  • Contactless delivery.

Safety Protocols for ContinuumRx Infusion Suites

  • Facility cleaning before each shift. 
  • Suites are adequately segregated from home infusion pharmacy operations.
  • Chairs are set a minimum of 6 feet apart, and partitions are in place.
  • Suite staff is limited to essential staff to complete patient care safety.
  • Caregivers, family, friends, etc., are restricted during infusion.
  • Patients are scheduled at 50% capacity.
  • Screening tests are completed at least 24 hours prior to each visit and immediately prior to entering the suite.
  • Screenings occur prior to entering the suite to allow for decontamination as needed.
    • If a patient fails a screen, immediately cancel the appointment. Evaluate whether home infusion IS a viable alternative.
  • Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection is performed prior to and after each patient.
  • Have patients wait in their vehicles until their appointment time. Mobile

Next Steps?

The most important factor in your decision-making is to decide to put your health first. Add ContinuumRx to your New Year’s resolution list and know that you will receive the comfort, convenience, and care that you need and deserve.

Find a ContinuumRx Location Nearest You

ContinuumRx, a provider of home infusion and specialty pharmacy services based in Birmingham, Alabama, announced today that Keith Hartman has been named Chief Executive Officer. Todd Timbrook, who has been the Chief Executive Officer since 2017, will continue as an active member on the board of directors and will play an integral role in the company’s long-term strategy. Keith Hartman’s new position will commence immediately.

Hartman said, “Mr. Timbrook’s focus has been to partner with health systems to provide discharge efficiency and a better patient experience as they pass through the continuum of care from acute hospital stays to the home environment. Over the past three years, ContinuumRx has grown by almost 40%, has expanded its hospital partnerships, and has aligned itself as a leader in each of its markets. We are thankful for Todd’s leadership and recognize his contribution toward this growth and establishing a solid clinical foundation for our future.”

“With current shifts in Medicare and hospital-to-home practices gaining consumer awareness, there is even more opportunity that lies ahead for growth as healthcare systems seek out new home infusion providers and patients use technology to research solutions for their own ailments,” said Hartman. He continued, “Throughout my years of owning my own pharmacy, it goes without saying that the customer experience is indispensable. Providing a personalized approach, accountability, and accessibility will continue to drive positive outcomes and build upon the quality of care that ContinuumRx is already known for.”

“Mr. Hartman has played an invaluable role during my tenure. He is a perfect fit and logical successor to continue the trajectory that the company is currently on, and I am delighted to support him during this next endeavor,” stated Timbrook.

For the past two years Keith Hartman has been the Chief Operations Officer of ContinuumRx. He brings over two decades of experience as an operating entrepreneur and pharmacy business owner. Hartman holds a BS in Pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.