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CVS Closes Home Infusion Branches, Leaving Patients with Life-Threatening Disorders Struggling for Care

Patients began to worry when they noticed their nurses and dietitians advertising for job opportunities on LinkedIn.[0] News of the shortage spread across Facebook, leading to numerous patients phoning Coram CVS, an American distributor of specialized IV nutrients which are essential for their well-being.[1] On June 1, CVS Health announced the closure of approximately half of its Coram home infusion branches and the dismissal of around 2,000 nurses, dietitians and pharmacists.[1]

Patients suffering from life-threatening digestive issues rely on Parenteral Nutrition (PN), which is a process of administering amino acids, sugars, fats, vitamins, and electrolytes through a catheter into a vein near the heart.[1] The following day, Optum Rx, a major provider, declared its own consolidation.[0] All of a sudden, thousands of people were rushing to get their necessary medications and vitamins.[0]

CVS had abandoned most of its less lucrative market in home parenteral nutrition, or HPN, and “acute care” drugs such as IV antibiotics.[0] The emphasis would be on costly, niche intravenous medications like Remicade, which is prescribed for arthritis and other autoimmune disorders.[0] The home and outpatient infusion industry is increasing as more medications are available to treat long-term illness, providing patients, healthcare professionals, and insurers with an alternative to hospitalization.[0] Despite the appeal of reimbursement for costly novel medications, the industry is limited by an insufficiency of nurses and pharmacists.[0] Parts of the business that are not as profitable, along with the individuals vulnerable to their services, are in jeopardy.[0] Approximately 30,000 Americans depend on parenteral nutrition, including premature babies, post-operative patients, and those with defective bowels due to genetic abnormalities.[0]

In September, CVS declared its acquisition of Signify Health, a tech firm that dispatches home health personnel to assess “high-priority” Medicare Advantage patients, per an analyst's report.[1] Put differently, CVS invested $8 billion in an effort to acquire more profitable patients, while shedding those with a low margin.[0] Spokesperson Mike DeAngelis stated that CVS is willing to “pivot when necessary.”[0] We opted to allocate increased resources to patients receiving infusion services for specialty medications that remain in a period of sustained growth.[0]

0. “Changes in nutrition infusion market raise fears” The Washington Post, 6 Feb. 2023,

1. “Decisions by CVS and Optum Panicked Thousands of Their Sickest Patients” Kaiser Health News, 7 Feb. 2023,

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