PCHC Infusion Center opened in 2018 and has exceeded expectations for cost savings

Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC), the largest federally qualified health center in Maine, is celebrating the second anniversary of its state-of-the-art Infusion Center. The Infusion Center, which opened its doors in the summer of 2018, offers low-cost non-oncology infusions in an outpatient setting. 

In just two years of operation, the PCHC Infusion Center has generated more than $2.3 million in savings. 

“Infusions are very necessary treatments for very difficult health problems,” said Lori Dwyer, president and CEO of PCHC. “More than two years ago, we identified a need for lower cost infusion therapy, seeing people pay out-of-pocket for necessary, but very expensive treatments. As an FQHC, it’s our mission to improve health outcomes for our patients, and we believe the Infusion Center has done that while providing real cost savings for people in this region.” 

Patients using PCHC’s Infusion Center typically see a lower cost than infusion treatments given at hospitals simply because a hospital setting has higher overhead costs and greater demand for beds. As a result, infusion treatments through PCHC are typically thousands of dollars less expensive per treatment than those given in a hospital setting. For example, patients who are receiving infusions that might treat Crohn’s Disease are seeing a savings of about $1,400 per infusion by having it done at PCHC rather than at a hospital. When those infusions are needed six or seven times each year, the annual savings is between $8,400 to $9,800 per patient, per year. Those are savings that could — in theory — result in lower insurance costs simply because of the savings being realized from what are typically very expensive treatments. 

“The cost savings per treatment is anywhere from $1,400 to $7,200 saved per infusion, per patient,” said Dwyer. “We expect the $2.3 million in savings for patients to grow as insurance companies and employer groups continue to actively seek for low cost, high-quality alternatives to hospital infusion centers for its members and employees. But it’s vitally important that individuals who are trying to pay out-of-pocket for Infusion Therapy to know that options for lower cost treatments do exist right here in Bangor.”

In conjunction with the anniversary, PCHC released a video to offer more insight to its Infusion Center. The video can be found at www.pchc.com/services/infusion

PCHC is partnered with OI Infusion Services, a New Hampshire-based infusion center management company, to help offer the services to patients. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 207-404-8040.

About Penobscot Community Health Care — Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) founded in 1997 to ensure access to comprehensive, integrated primary health care services for all to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and the Maine communities served. Seventeen practices and program service sites in the Bangor area, and in Belfast and Jackman, offer a wide range of services, including family medicine, dental, pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, medication assisted treatment and substance use disorder services, urgent/walk-in care services, as well as specialty services such as speech, audiology and chiropractic services, retail and primary care pharmacy and healthcare for the homeless. Online at www.pchc.com.