In an article written by Harvard Medical professor, Thomas H. Lee M.D., on July 9th 2013 he discusses the annoyances of living on Coumadin therapy and how home INR testing works to alleviate these issues. This blood thinner prevents strokes and complications from blood clots for people with issues like Mechanical Heart Valves, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary embolism, and DVTs. With more studies being published on the benefits of weekly home anticoagulation testing and monitoring more insurances are now covering the service, making it more readily available to the masses making management of warfarin therapy a much more convenient and safer option to testing at the doctor’s office or lab.
Home testing will replace inconvenient trips to the doctor’s office of Coumadin clinic allowing patients to test from the comfort of their home. The meters are similar in size to a glucose meter, give accurate INR results in just a few minutes from a finger stick. The physician or pharmacist uses the INR in determining whether you have too much or too little anticoagulating activity. This allows patients to know right away if they are within their prescribed “safe therapeutic rage”. If the INR is too high it puts you at risk of bleeding complications and too low puts you at risk of having a blood clot form.
With a technology that has been around for years and found in most doctors’ office, it leaves patients wondering why they need to drive to the doctor’s office, pay a copay, pay for parking, wait in the waiting room with other sick people, and then drive back to work or home just for a finger stick that they could do at home.
The reason that insurances such as Medicare, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Humana, and others are now covering Home INR testing is because people who use the home meters to test at home appear to spend more time within their “safe therapeutic range” because they are able to test their INR more frequently. This allows their physician to more closely monitor their Coumadin therapy which results in far less complications associated with the drug. People who use the devices tend to be happier and have a general confidence that they are in control of their medical treatments.
With insurances now covering home monitors, saving people time, money, and simply keeping them safer than they would be otherwise it is the clear INR monitoring option of choice for people living on long term warfarin therapy. Many people can now look forward to spending more time at home with their families and less time making the arduous trip to the doctor’s office or anticoagulation clinic.
Read the entire article written by Dr Thomas H. Lee HERE.