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Frequently Asked Questions
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Service Offerings and Service Cost Coverage

Does my insurance cover your service?
Are there additional charges that I will have to pay?
How long does it take to get started with service?
What kind of experience does the nurse have?
Can the nurse come to see me if I am in the hospital?
Will BHI be able to provide increases and decreases on the pump?
How will I know when I need a refill?
Who will coordinate the refills?


Lifestyle and Travel

Can I still do my normal activities with my pump?
Are there any activities that I cannot do because I have a pump?
Can I scuba dive with the pump?
Can I fly with my SynchroMed Intrathecal Pump?


Ongoing Medical Treatment

Will I still see my physician?
How often do I need to see my MD?
How does my MD know my progress?
Should I have oral medications available in my house just in case?
Does Basic Home Infusion take care of my oral medications?
Can I have a CT Scan?


Treatment Concerns

How do I know if I am therapeutic?
How long does it take for good pain control?
What should I do if I notice warmth or redness over my pump site?
What should I do if I have new or unusual pain?
Is it typical for me to have more spasms when I have an active urinary tract infection?


Monitoring Center

How do I reschedule an appointment?
How do I request an increase or decrease in dosage?
What do I do if I go on vacation?
What do I do if I change doctors?
What do I do if I get a new pump?
What do I do if I have a scheduled MRI?


Service Offerings and Service Cost Coverage

Does my insurance cover your service?
Yes, most insurance policies cover this service. However, since coverage can vary from plan to plan, BHI will help coordinate your coverage.

Are there additional charges that I will have to pay?
No, there are no additional charges. In some cases you'll even save money since many of BHI’s insurance contracts eliminate the deductibles and drug costs.

How long does it take to get started with service?
Depending on your insurance coverage, authorization takes 2 to 4 weeks.

What kind of experience does the nurse have?
BHI nurses are required to pass an extensive educational program. They become extremely proficient in this therapy through both clinical training and hands-on experience.

Can the nurse come to see me if I am in the hospital?
Yes, the BHI nurse goes anywhere the patient is, schools, day centers, long term care facilities, and rehab facilities are just a few of the locations that our nurses perform refills.

Will BHI be able to provide increases and decreases on the pump?
A BHI trained RN will be able to handle all your increases and decreases in your home. They can also handle additional types of programming including titration, drug changes, concentration changes, bridge bolus and PTM devices.

How will I know if I need a refill?
BHI’s Monitoring Center keeps track of your refills based on your telemetry readings and drug stability.

Who will coordinate the refills?
Your RN will schedule the next refill before they leave your house. BHI will follow-up with you as your alarm date approaches.

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Lifestyle and Travel

Can I still do my normal activities with my pump?
Most normal activities are permitted with the SynchroMed Intrathecal Pump, skydiving; hyperbaric chambers, and scuba diving are all prohibited due to the potential changes in pressure. Please call the monitoring center if there is an activity that you would like to perform if you have a question.

Are there any activities that I cannot do because I have a pump?
Patients with pumps cannot sky dive, or go into hyperbaric chambers

Can I scuba dive with the pump?
Scuba diving is contraindicated because of the potential pressure changes that can potentially affect the pump

Can I fly with my SynchroMed Intrathecal Pump?
Yes, individuals can fly with the SynchroMed Intrathecal Pump, but only in a pressurized cabin. When flying the individual should not go through the regular metal detectors they will have to be scanned manually. Each patient should also keep convenient the Medtronic Pump Card given at time of implant to show airport security

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Ongoing Medical Treatment

Will I still see my physician?
Yes, you will continue to see your physician regularly. The home care component supplied by BHI will allow your physician to monitor you via our nursing notes.

How often do I need to see my MD?
Each doctor has different ranges of the need for office visits.  Some MD's require every three months, some every month.
Your MD will continue to provide with your oral meds.  BHI will do the home refills/titrations.

How does my MD know my progress?
Basic Home Infusion makes available to your MD all of the assessment notes and pain scale levels for their patients.  This helps the doctor to know know if the patient needs adjustments or if they are therapeutic (at a good pain level)

Should I have oral medications available in my house just in case?
Yes, we recommend that each individual have oral medications available in case of natural disasters, when we may not be able to get to you.

Does Basic Home Infusion take care of my oral medications?
Basic Home Infusion does only intrathecal medications. Please refer to your physician for any questions or refills regarding your oral medications.

Can I have a CT Scan?
Yes, there are no contraindications with the SynchroMed Pump and CT Scans; you can always call the monitoring center also for this information

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Treatment Concerns

How do I know if I am therapeutic?
When you initially meet the RN along with many other things you and the RN will discuss your pain goal.  A pain goal is a realistic number that each patient decides is the best for them to maintain their daily habits.  This number is individual and represents the highest level of pain tolerable.

How long does it take for good pain control?
The process can be quick or it can take months to identify the correct dosage for the best pain relief.  We need to be very cautious with this type of delivery system.  Therefore, we do small increases to obtain the best possible pain relief.

What should I do if I notice warmth or redness over my pump site?
These findings would definitely warrant a call to the monitoring center, these are two red flags of a potential infection

What should I do if I have new or unusual pain?
This would require a call to the monitoring center. Any new or different pain should be relayed to the physician.

Is it typical for me to have more spasms when I have an active urinary tract infection?
Yes, this is a normal finding, many individuals will have increased spasticity with any secondary infections, urinary tract infections, any changes in skin integrity, but as always you should call the monitoring center so that we can let your MD know.

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Monitoring Center Questions

How do I reschedule an appointment?
You should call to notify the Monitoring Center when you need to reschedule an appointment. The Monitoring Center will contact your field nurse to notify them of the new date and time. Your nurse will contact you to confirm.

How do I request an increase or decrease in dosage?
You should call the Monitoring Center and speak to an RN. The Monitoring Center RNs will do a phone assessment with you and send a progress note to your MD.  Once the Monitoring Center RN gets a response from the MD, they will notify you and your Nurse of what your MD would like carried out.

What do I do if I go on vacation?
Notify your field nurse and/or the Monitoring Center of any scheduled vacations so the appointment can be rescheduled at a different time or location depending on available times.

What do I do if I change doctors?
Contact the Monitoring Center if a doctor change will happen. This is essential for continued communication between your doctor and our company to facilitate quality of care.

What do I do if I get a new pump?
You should notify the Monitoring Center of any scheduled pump replacement. BHI will make every effort to provide the medication and facilitate the pump replacement.

What do I do if I have a scheduled MRI?
You should notify the Monitoring Center or your Field Nurse when an MRI has been scheduled. The magnet in the MRI does make the motor stall in the pump. This is the safety mechanism developed by Medtronic.
The BHI nurse must make a visit 2 to 4 hours after the MRI to ensure the motor stall has recovered.

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| Patients - Frequently Asked Questions - Mon May 14, 2012 1:13 PM