The benefits of chemo at home
The lowdown on Chemo at Home benefits & who can access it
Most Australians have been affected, or know someone who has been affected, by cancer. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that more than 162,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2022 – over 440 new cases each day. The good news is that cancer detection and treatment have come a long way in the past 20 years and it’s estimated that nearly 107,000 lives have been saved in that time.
There are even new treatment advances, including having chemotherapy at home, that make cancer patients’ lives a lot easier. We spoke to nib Provider Network Specialist Chantele Mann to get the lowdown on the benefits of chemo at home and who can access it.
“An nib member’s first one to three infusions are delivered in a hospital setting to manage any potential adverse reactions to the initial treatment, and then this service may be transitioned to chemotherapy at home,” says Chantele.
“Our chemotherapy at home providers, Kinship and View Health chemo@home, communicate with the member’s treating doctors and give them updates to ensure the member’s medical requirements are being met. Doctors can review their patient's treatment plan every three to six months, or sooner if necessary. They also maintain clinical oversight over their patients, including their chemo dosage and medications,” she says.
6 benefits of chemo at home
There are six main advantages of doing chemotherapy from the comfort of your home instead of in a hospital setting.
1. Reduced travel time and time off work
Patients who have frequent or daily treatment may find it hard to get to the hospital so often. They might not be able to take that much time off work or it may be disruptive to the lives of family members who drive them to their appointments.
“Chemo at home gives our members, their loved ones and their support systems peace of mind with less disruption to day-to-day life,” says Chantele.
2. Increased convenience
Elderly patients, families with young children and other patients who find it difficult to attend daytime appointments will benefit from the convenience and flexibility of chemotherapy at home.
“Chemo at home sessions with our providers are booked around our members’ schedules and availability at a time that is convenient for them,” says Chantele.
3. Reduced costs
Travelling for medical treatment can not only be stressful and draining for members and their loved ones, but costs can also add up. “Being able to have chemo at home means less money spent on fuel, parking and tolls,” says Chantele.
4. Less stress associated with unfamiliar environments
The hospital setting can be daunting or even scary for some people. “Having chemo at home means that their treatment is carried out in a familiar environment, surrounded by their support network and loved ones,” says Chantele. “It allows members to continue carrying out day-to-day tasks, such as being home when the kids arrive from school.”
5. Reduced risk of community or hospital-acquired infection
Even with improved safety protocols and sanitisation introduced because of the pandemic, members who are immunocompromised due to chemo may have anxiety about picking up germs or infections.
“Being able to have most of your chemotherapy treatment at home helps to reduce this issue,” says Chantele. “Our chemo at home providers adhere to strict safety and infection control regulations and take all the necessary precautions to keep our members safe when they’re unwell.”
6. Improved patient satisfaction
“With this new addition to our Health Care @ Home portfolio, we anticipate it will have high member and patient satisfaction and demonstrate our vision of being a health partner for our members,” says Chantele.
Who is eligible for chemo at home?
Members who wish to access this service must have nib cover that includes benefits for chemotherapy, be clinically eligible to receive chemotherapy treatments at home, live in an area serviced by Kinship or View Health chemo@home, have a home suitable for delivery of the treatment and have served all waiting periods. Members must be referred into the program by a registered specialist via the provider's website.
You can check your level of cover by logging into your account and using the Going to hospital tool or by calling our friendly team on 13 16 42. To find out about program locations and whether your area is covered, get in touch with Kinship and View Health chemo@home, and check out the nib Health Care @ Home portfolio.
For more information on chemo at home, head to the FAQ section.
Did you know?
There is no charge or enrolment fee to join the Cancer Coach Program for 12 months if you meet the eligibility criteria*. The information you share with us won’t be used in any way to determine your premium or your eligibility for health cover premiums because of community rating laws.
*The Cancer Coach Program from Osara Health is available at no additional cost to eligible nib and GU Health members (excluding Suncorp, QANTAS, AAMI, Priceline, Apia, ING, Real Insurance and Seniors Health Insurance members) that are over 18 and who have held a Hospital product for 12 months or more. The Cancer Coach Program from Osara Health is available for a limited period until May 2024. By participating in the Cancer Coach Program from Osara Health your information will be managed in line with Osara Health’s privacy practises and the nib Privacy Collection Notice.
Participating in the Cancer Coach Program from Osara Health or choosing not to participate in the program, will not impact your health insurance product, premium or policy terms and conditions in any way due to community rating. Find out more here.
Please note: The tips throughout this article serve as broad information and should not replace any advice you have been given by your medical practitioner.
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After 15+ years at nib, Chantele Mann has the answers to every health-insurance question you could imagine asking. As a Provider Network Specialist, she loves having the ability to make positive changes that benefit members and providers, and improve their nib experience. Chantele thrives when she’s working on multiple projects simultaneously and being able to collaborate with everyone across the business. Out of work hours, she loves baking and you can often find her baking up a storm with her kids, who love helping.