TAMPA, Florida – (December 10, 2020) – HCA West Florida is now offering Bamlanivimab antibody infusions at four hospitals to non-hospitalized patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have other high-risk factors. The first patient received the treatment on December 9 at St. Petersburg General Hospital. Participating hospitals include Blake Medical Center in Manatee County, Brandon Regional Hospital in Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg General Hospital in Pinellas County, and Medical Center of Trinity in Pasco County.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Authorized Use (EUA) of Bamlanivimab for the treatment of COVID-19 patients experiencing mild to moderate symptoms who are at high risk to develop severe COVID-19. All four hospitals will provide the outpatient IV treatment for adults and Brandon Regional Hospital will also provide the treatment for adolescents age 12 and older.
High-risk conditions that may be eligible for this treatment include:
— Chronic kidney disease
— Immunosuppressive disease
— Heart disease
For children over the age of 12, sickle cell disease, neurodevelopmental disorders, and asthma are also among several additional considerations for eligibility.
“We’re committed to providing our patients, caregivers, and the communities we serve with the latest treatments in the fight against COVID-19 and are excited to bring this option to our four different geographic areas along Florida’s west coast,” said Dr. Larry Feinman, Chief Medical Officer for HCA Healthcare West Florida. “The four locations will support all of our local hospitals in working closely with physicians and other providers across the communities we serve to provide treatment to patients who may benefit, per FDA guidelines.”
The medication supply is limited and based on availability. Patients will need a physician referral and meet FDA criteria prior to scheduling. The treatment is a one-time intravenous infusion over the course of one hour followed by an hour of monitoring. Scheduling for patients who meet the criteria can be made by calling: Blake Medical Center at 941-798-6150, Brandon Regional Hospital at 813-916-1581 or 813-460-3187, Medical Center of Trinity at 727-834-4917 and St. Petersburg General Hospital at 727-341-4909.
Bamlanivimab is not authorized for use for patients who:
— Are hospitalized due to COVID-19
— Require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19
— Require oxygen due to another underlying medical condition
For more information on monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19, visit the Coronavirus Research Hub at HCA Healthcare.com.
The Hernando Sun contacted an HCA Representative about the cost of this treatment and if it’s covered by insurance. HCA responded, “We always encourage patients to contact their insurance provider directly for answers to questions regarding their specific health plan coverage. Our current policy is that during this public health emergency, for patients who are COVID-19 positive and meet the criteria for receiving monoclonal antibody therapies, we would not bill a patient for any patient liability. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on November 13, 2020 announced Medicare coverage for monoclonal antibody therapies, with no beneficiary cost-sharing for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.”