In­fu­sion Ex­press opens lo­cal clinic

Com­pany chose Ch­ester County for ex­pan­sion due to its close ties with Cerner. It plans to ag­gres­sively ex­pand in the com­ing years

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCullough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twit­ter

TREDYF­FRIN » A na­tional drug in­fu­sion cen­ter with strong ties to one of Ch­ester County’s largest em­ploy­ers is open­ing a lo­ca­tion in the Malvern area.

Kansas City-based In­fu­sion Ex­press held a rib­bon cut­ting Tues­day on its eighth cen­ter, this one on East Swedes­ford Road in the Ar­bor Ridge of­fice plaza.

In­fu­sion Ex­press clin­ics de­liver clin­i­cally nec­es­sary drug treat­ments for pa­tients who suf­fer from dis­or­ders such as Crohn’s Dis­ease, ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis, rheuma­toid arthri­tis, al­ler­gic asthma, plaque pso­ri­a­sis and lu­pus. In­fu­sion Ex­press also pro­vides treat­ments for vi­ta­min and min­eral de­fi­cien­cies, Lyme dis­ease, IV im­munoglob­u­lin and other blood dis­or­ders.

They are not to be con­fused with dial­y­sis cen­ters where pa­tients with kid­ney fail­ure go to have tox­ins cleared from their bod­ies.

“We’re the op­po­site,” In­fu­sion Ex­press CEO Don Peter­son ex­plained. “They take the bad stuff out, we put the good stuff in.”

With lo­ca­tions open in Kansas, Mis­souri and now in the Philadelphia re­gion, In­fu­sion Ex­press plans to open new lo­ca­tions soon in Cal­i­for­nia and Illi­nois.

“We hope to be­come the DaVita of in­fu­sions,” Peter­son said, re­fer­ring to the na­tional leader in dial­y­sis cen­ters.

“We hope to be­come the DaVita of in­fu­sions.” – In­fu­sion Ex­press CEO Don Peter­son, re­fer­ring to the na­tional leader in dial­y­sis cen­ters

It wasn’t by ac­ci­dent that In­fu­sion Ex­press opened its first Penn­syl­va­nia cen­ter in Malvern. It had formed a re­la­tion­ship with Cerner, the Kansas City-based health care tech­nol­ogy com­pany that has a large pres­ence in Ch­ester County.

In Jan­uary, Cerner con­tracted with In­fu­sion Ex­press as a di­rect provider of IV ther­apy ser­vices for its health plan mem­bers in Kansas City.

The Malvern clinic open­ing is an ex­ten­sion of that re­la­tion­ship, Peter­son said, not­ing that In­fu­sion Ex­press con­tracts with self-in­sured em­ploy­ers and most health plans as an in-net­work provider.

“They said, ‘have you guys ever thought about open­ing in the Philadelphia area,’” Peter­son re­called, “and we said, ‘you know, that might be a great idea.’”

The com­pany, founded in 2012, plans to open two or three more lo­ca­tions in the Philadelphia area in the next two years and will ex­pand to New York, Washington, D.C., and up and down the East Coast, the CEO added.

“We’ve been grow­ing 12 per­cent a month since we started,” Peter­son said.

The clin­ics of­fer com­pa­nies price breaks com­pared to hos­pi­tal op­er­a­tions while im­prov­ing ser­vice to users, Peter­son said. Un­til now, pa­tients with au­toim­mune dis­or­ders and other chronic con­di­tions who need reg­u­lar drug in­fu­sion treat­ments had just two choices: a hos­pi­tal or, less fre­quently, a physi­cian’s of­fice.

An av­er­age “pa­tient en­counter” at one of the clin­ics is $4,000 to $5,000, but at a hos­pi­tal it is two or three times as much, Peter­son said.

“For a self-in­sured com­pany, the dif­fer­ence is dra­matic,” he noted.

About 1.5 to 2 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion has a chronic con­di­tion for which there is no cure; their only op­tion to live nor­mally is to get a drug in­fu­sion on a reg­u­lar sched­ule. But ses­sions take two to five hours, which is why In­fu­sion Ex­press clin­ics of­fer pri­vate treat­ment ar­eas with in­ter­net con­nec­tions and big screen TVs. Flex­i­ble hours, in­clud­ing evenings and Satur­days, are avail­able.

“It takes away a lot of time from their work and fam­i­lies,” said Peter­son. “With this, they can come in late in the day and set up (their treat­ment area) like an of­fice.”

On the Web: www. in­fu­sion­ex­press.com

To con­tact Busi­ness Editor Brian McCullough, call 610-235-2655 or send an email to bm­c­cul­lough@ dai­ly­lo­cal.com.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Founder and CEO Don Peter­son of In­fu­sion Ex­press, a pa­tient-cen­tered al­ter­na­tive to hos­pi­tal in­fu­sion cen­ters, is shown at a new lo­ca­tion near Malvern.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Nurse Taryn Marais pre­pares an IV pump at In­fu­sion Ex­press, a pa­tient-cen­tered al­ter­na­tive to hos­pi­tal in­fu­sion cen­ters in Tredyf­frin.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Nurse Taryn Marais Joanna Berry, pa­tient ad­vo­cate; Janet Ink, vice-pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions; Founder Don Peter­son; and Octavio Gon­za­lez, di­rec­tor of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at In­fu­sion Ex­press, gather for a photo.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

An IV pump is shown at In­fu­sion Ex­press, a pa­tient­cen­tered al­ter­na­tive to hos­pi­tal in­fu­sion cen­ters in Tredyf­frin.

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