ContinuumRx Gives Patients the Tools to be Warriors Against Their Afflictions

Having an inflammatory bowel disease affects more than just what you eat. Patients can feel isolated, overwhelmed, and nervous about public appearances due to their afflictions. When you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, canceling plans and missing out on milestones with family and friends can feel like just another consequence of your disease. ContinuumRx will help you manage your symptoms and make your condition a part of your life, not the center of your life.

What are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that explicitly affects the gastrointestinal tract (GI). In a Crohn’s patient, the GI becomes inflamed and causes chronic, extreme pain. While this disease mainly affects the small intestine, patients may also report discomfort in the eyes, skin, and joints. 

The onset of Crohn’s can occur at any age, and it is still unclear why these symptoms present themselves in specific individuals. However, one hypothesis may point to it being a hereditary condition. According to CrohnsandColitis.com, up to 20% of all Crohn’s patients have a direct relative with an IBD. 

Ulcerative colitis, also referred to as colitis, is similar because it is an IBD as well. While Crohn’s can affect the entire GI tract from mouth to anus, colitis is specific to the large intestine and rectum. 

With colitis, patients will also experience pain-inducing inflammation. As opposed to Crohn’s, where the inflammation can appear in sporadic patches throughout the GI and can spread through the bowel wall, colitis patients usually have inflammation of the entire colon and intestine’s inner lining.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation estimates that nearly 780,000 Americans currently live with Crohn’s disease, while another 907,000 have colitis. There is no cure for either condition, but patients can experience relief from the symptoms and even remission with certain drugs.

What infusion therapies can help patients with Crohn’s and colitis?

Infusion therapy has been shown to improve the symptoms of Crohn’s and colitis significantly. Two types of infusion therapies that ContinuumRx uses to treat our patients from home are Remicade and Entyvio.

Remicade, also known as infliximab, is an infusion drug formulated to treat not only Crohn’s and colitis but also rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and plaque psoriasis.

Infusion patients are given Remicade intravenously every eight weeks, and treatments usually last one to two hours. Remicade works by attacking a protein known as tumor necrosis factor, which medical professionals believe to be the element that triggers inflammation in Crohn’s disease. There’s no way to tell how long after treatment patients will see relief from their symptoms, but for many, it’s within the first six weeks after infusion therapy.

Entyvio, or vedolizumab, is an infusion medication used to treat Crohn’s and colitis exclusively. Treatment with Entyvio is similar, where patients are infused every eight weeks. However, the treatment duration is only about thirty minutes. Also with Entyvio, patients will see relief from symptoms in the first six weeks approximately. 

Entyvio works differently than Remicade as well. Instead of attacking inflammation-causing factors within the body, Entyvio binds to specific molecules and blocks these inflammatory factors; this, in turn, motivates anti-inflammatory gut activity. This type of symptom relief is possible since Entyvio is an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, meaning it is a unique white blood cell clone.

What benefits does receiving these infusion treatments from home have?

As we know, infusion treatment can be life-changing, but having to undergo infusion therapy has the potential to severely disrupt life for not just the patient but their families as well. Infusion sites and hospitals can be hours from your home, and the cost for travel and time will add up significantly. 

When compared to a hospital setting, home infusion is also the more cost-effective option. In a 2016 study published by the National Library of Public Medicine, it was found that home infusion could save patients between $1,928 and $2,974 per treatment course. 

ContinuumRx offers our patients the chance to receive Remicade and Entyvio infusions from home, eliminating the need for excessive travel and costs. Our medical professionals coordinate with physicians to onboard your therapy and make sure you are set up with the right equipment, nurse, and anything else you need to receive Remicade and Entyvio from any room in your house.

Crohn’s and colitis can make you feel like life is centered around your disease as you may be forced to sacrifice time with your loved ones daily due to your symptoms. On the other hand, home infusion therapy with ContinuumRx is the most non-disruptive way to effectively treat your symptoms. Your medication provides comfort while ContinuumRx gives you back your freedom.

Are you battling Crohn’s or colitis and are interested in receiving Remicade or Entyvio infusion therapy from home? Our team at ContinuumRx can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the home infusion process. Contact us today!

As a parent, you are always working to give your child a happy and normal childhood. However, medical factors can arise keeping your child from living the life you envisioned. No parent can foresee or prevent these changes, but infusion therapy can ease your child’s discomfort and restore a sense of normalcy to everyday life. Home infusion therapy is common for ailments that include, but are not limited to, juvenile arthritis, Crohn’s disease, metabolic disorders, bone diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, immunodeficiencies, and others.

While infusion therapy is highly beneficial, infusion centers and hospitals are costly, isolating, and can disrupt a family’s schedule. Some infusion treatments can take hours, and the added travel time makes it impossible for kids to participate in extracurricular activities and sports.

Home Care Magazine estimates that roughly 60,000 patients undergo infusion treatments from home every day, and this number is expected to double in the next five years. Many patients realize the benefits home infusion therapy can offer and are making the switch – especially when it comes to a child that needs treatment. 

ContinuumRx delivers top-rated expertise in home infusion therapy, eliminating the need for treatment at a hospital or infusion center while granting peace of mind and an undisruptive infusion therapy schedule for children. Receiving treatments in the comfort of a patient’s home is not only safe and convenient but allows children to receive medication under the care of a registered nurse while watching TV or movies, playing games, and even finishing homework.

As parents we know how difficult it can be to have a child needing medical care. We aim to take the confusion and fear out of that for the entire family. Patience and empathy are guiding principles for our entire team. Keeping the family comfortable in their home or in one of our infusion suites helps make the process more pleasant.

Keith Hartman, President, ContinuumRx

Our team is dedicated to the care and recovery of your child through all stages of their journey. Keep reading to learn more about the pediatric infusion therapies we offer at ContinuumRx.

Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG) for PANDAS/ PANS
Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS/PANS) is a disease that predominantly affects children. With PANDAS, a child is usually diagnosed following a streptococcal (strep) infection, like strep throat or scarlet fever. They will develop mannerisms associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) seemingly overnight. PANS is similar where there is a sudden onset of OCD behaviors, but it does not follow an infection.

Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) therapy has been proven effective in treating PANDAS/ PANS. According to the PANDAS Network, the treatment has been shown to alleviate symptoms and improve a child’s condition in as little as 3-4 weeks. 

ContinuumRx works closely with the PANDAS Network to raise awareness around the condition and encourage plasma donation to help with the IVIG supply. We also travel to patient’s homes to deliver IVIG therapy so they can remain comfortable in a familiar setting.

Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin Therapy (SGIg)
When a child (or adult) cannot make their own antibodies to fight off infection, they usually have an immunodeficiency disorder. Some examples of these conditions are X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

One form of treatment shown to help patients with immunodeficiencies is subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy (SGIg). With this treatment, defective antibodies are replaced with healthy ones provided by a donor. 

While this procedure is ordinarily well-tolerated and safe, it can still be a daunting experience for a child. Undergoing SCIg therapy at home can help make patients both young and old feel more at ease. 

Inotropic Therapies for Heart Failure Patient
Inotropes are drugs typically administered to heart failure patients and can be instrumental in keeping patients comfortable or stabilizing their condition while they await transplant. Recently, many patients undergoing inotropic therapy have opted to receive treatment from home. This is primarily attributed to the fact that home infusion is proven to be a clinically safe, cost-effective, and patient-preferred method of care.
A 2007 study published by the National Library of Medicine set out to explore the effects of home inotropic therapy in children with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF). The study found that receiving inotropic therapy from home was significantly beneficial for children stating, “continuous home inotropic therapy in children with CHF is safe with few complications. Home inotropic therapy may result in substantial cost-savings and improve family dynamics by avoiding prolonged hospitalization.”

Parenteral Nutrition and Enteral Nutrition 
Parenteral and enteral nutrition are two types of tube feedings prescribed when a child cannot eat normally. Parenteral nutrition delivers nutrients through a vein, while enteral nutrition is done through the gastrointestinal tract. 

Receiving either parenteral or enteral nutrition is a massive lifestyle change for any individual; however, children and adolescents may need more support from loved ones during this transitional time. 

ContinuumRx realizes how important it is for your child to still maintain a sense of normalcy and independence. That’s why we deliver expert parenteral and enteral nutrition services right from your living room, so treatment can fit into a patient’s day rather than centering around it.

Specialty Medications
Antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal medications are examples of infusion treatments a child may need regularly. A child may require this type of treatment if they have conditions like cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, cellulitis, cancer, dehydration issues, prolonged pain, and many others. 

Having one or more of these types of medical ailments can add up to lengthy hospital stays, medical bills, and constant traveling to and from the medical facility. All of these factors can take a toll on a family in more ways than one.

Hospitals are not always the only answer when your child requires specialty infusion medications. At ContinuumRx, we help patients save time and money by bringing the treatment to them. Worried about the cost? Our specialists work with you to vet your insurance and payment options for treatment.
If your family feels overwhelmed by the infusion site or hospital setting, you’re not alone. Your child’s infusion therapy should be a fraction of their daily life, not their whole day. Ready to switch to a more convenient method of care? ContinuumRx can help. We grant families the freedom to heal together in the comfort of their own homes when they need it most.

Contact us today to onboard your child’s therapy.

Rusty Daily

As a registered nurse for the last seventeen years, Rusty has dedicated ten years of his career to the home infusion industry. His clinical background, in addition to sales and operations, has enabled him to gain extensive experience and unique industry knowledge.

Rusty is PICC/midline-certified and has worked in pharmacy branch operations, sales, and ambulatory infusion suites. He has used strategic partnerships to help facilities decrease the length of stay (LOS) while transitioning patients home for optimal outcomes.

Working collaboratively with his internal and external partners, he has exceeded corporate goals and objectives with proven growth in his markets year after year. As a result, he has received multiple recognitions and awards from corporate management.

Please reach out to Rusty @ rusty.daily@continuumrx.com.

Enteral & Parenteral Nutrition Services are Available In-Home

Enteral and parenteral nutrition can be given from the comfort of home.

Author Joseph Raynauld Raymond once said, “diet is the essential key to all successful healing.” The importance of nutrition goes without question, but what happens when a patient cannot eat normally? In this case, experts turn to enteral and parenteral nutrition services. 

Enteral and parenteral nutrition can be done effectively at home, eliminating the need for an extended hospital stay. And our team of licensed professionals here at ContinuumRx is trained to deliver the highest quality of nutritional care necessary for its patients.

What is the difference between enteral and parenteral nutrition, and who requires either?

Enteral and parenteral nutrition are two types of tube feedings that some patients need when their regular nutritional intake is hindered. Enteral nutrition refers to tube feeding through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, while the parenteral method delivers nutrition through a vein.

Of the two, enteral nutrition is preferred by physicians because it is closer to everyday eating habits, making it easier on the immune system and the patient themselves. Patients are generally recommended to receive enteral nutrition when they have trouble swallowing or chewing. Yet, there are a variety of reasons why a patient may require enteral nutrition, including:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal disorder
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Pre and post organ transplant
  • Renal disease

Parenteral nutrition is reserved for patients who cannot or will not eat and cannot maintain proper nutrition through the enteral method. In this case, the onset will most likely need to happen in a hospital but can be moved to home care once the patient has adjusted. Those who usually require parenteral nutrition most likely have any of these inflictions:

  • Stomach and intestines that are not working or have been removed
  • Severe nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting 
  • Severe sores in the mouth or esophagus
  • A fistula (hole) in the stomach or esophagus
  • Loss of body weight and muscle with normal enteral nutrition

Both enteral and parenteral nutrition can be done in-home by licensed clinical dietitians, like our team at ContinuumRx.

What benefits does home infusion offer for those needing enteral and parenteral nutrition?

Receiving enteral or parenteral nutrition is an adjustment for many, but you don’t need to undergo that process in an unfamiliar place. Home infusion offers patients a chance to be surrounded by family, friends, and comfortable surroundings. 

In a 2017 study published by the National Library of Medicine, home infusion results were found to be immensely beneficial. It states, “patients overwhelmingly preferred home infusion, reporting significantly better physical and mental well being and less disruption of family and personal responsibilities.”

The cost of enteral and parenteral nutrition can weigh heavily on a family as well. However, the study also found that home infusion was more cost-effective and states, “Home infusion costs were significantly lower than medical setting infusion costs, with savings between $1,928 and $2,974 per treatment course.”

Are enteral and parenteral nutrition through home infusion therapy growing in popularity?

Home infusion therapy has grown substantially in recent years. And the enteral and parenteral nutrition science community is also recognizing it as a primary care method.

In fact, the annual Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) 2021 Conference is dedicating an entire section forum titled “Home & Alternate Site Care.” The section will discuss the growing popularity of home infusion and alternate site care due to the pandemic.

Why choose enteral and parenteral nutrition services with ContinuumRx?

At ContinuumRx, our team of registered clinical dietitians is trained extensively on enteral and parenteral nutrition services. The care and dedication they have for their patients is the foundation that ContinuumRx was built on.

Living a full and happy life is the goal between patient and physician, and ContinuumRx is here to support and help restore a sense of comfort while achieving that goal. We work with your physician to provide you the best possible care.

Receiving treatment from home provides a chance to be closer to family and friends when you need them the most. So, don’t wait to begin treatment with ContinuumRx; onboard your treatment today!

Contact ContinuumRx Today!

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.