It takes a lifetime of care for people with hemophilia — a condition in which a person’s blood does not clot — to manage their disease.
|Physician Nadia Ewing sees more than 100 patients in her practice, including Kynan McCabe-Wild.|
Government-funded hemophilia treatment centers have eased the burden on patients, but they have not completely assured adequate access to care. That is why City of Hope has launched Hope at Home, a drug discount program — called a 340B or PHS — to make medications more affordable.
Congress has mandated that drug manufacturers provide discounts on outpatient medications purchased by hemophilia treatment centers. City of Hope operates one of 143 federally funded hemophilia treatment centers in the United States, qualifying its patients for the discount.
“Hope at Home helps cut health-care costs so we can provide patient care
enhancements, including more diagnostic services, nursing, education, coordination
of care, physical therapy and psychosocial services,” said Nadia Ewing, M.D.,
director of City of Hope’s Pediatric Hemophilia Program.
The program’s importance is magnified by the growing numbers of hemophiliacs.
Ewing now sees more than 100 patients with coagulation disorders, far more than
she did a decade ago. About 18,000 Americans have hemophilia, according to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And these patients may
have difficulties getting expert hemophilia care because increasing insurance restrictions may limit accessibility. Funding derived from the 340B program will ensure that these patients may continue receiving specialized services.
Hemophiliacs need to intraveously inject special coagulation proteins, called clotting factors, to treat or prevent bleeding.
Organizers anticipate that patients will save between 15 and 20 percent off the cost of these clotting factors through the discounts. “340B programs have already saved California state-funded insurance about $25 million over the past four years. We expect the program to continue to bring significant savings to all payers — state, federal and private — while allowing our organization to continue and expand services,” Ewing said.
One of only six hemophilia centers of excellence in Southern California, City of Hope’s center seeks to expand care and support through Hope at Home. These centers dramatically improve patients’ lives, reducing their risk of death by 60 percent and hospitalization by 50 percent, according to the CDC.
To find out more about the program, contact Lisa Pullens, the program’s nurse
coordinator, at 626-265-4673, ext. 64231.