Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Tennessee Department of Health, and HHS partner to expand access to monoclonal antibody therapy for COVID-19 patients
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced today it has expanded access to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies at its two infusion locations – Methodist University Hospital and the Methodist Monoclonal Infusion Center – Hacks Cross. MLH is the first provider organization in Tennessee to join this national initiative supported by KPMG LLP and sponsored by HHS as part of the federal effort to help end COVID-19 and improve health equity in underserved communities across the country.
“These funds provide us the ability to expand our hours of operation at our two infusion centers, allowing us to treat more patients with the goal of preventing hospitalizations and severe illness,” said Kathleen Forbes, MD, executive vice president of MLH’s academic hospitals, which include Methodist University Hospital and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. “Monoclonal antibody infusion treatment is a critical tool in our arsenal to help stop the devastating spread of COVID-19.”
Current infusion hours of operation for Methodist University are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Methodist Infusion Center at Hacks Cross. MLH’s infusion centers have the ability to extend hours of operation to seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., if needed. To confirm eligibility for mAb therapy and to book an appointment, patients should call 901-516-2255. No physician referral is needed.
“While we are grateful to provide monoclonal antibody therapy to our community and beyond, the most important step people can take to protect themselves from COVID infection is to get vaccinated,” Forbes added.
MLH has administered about 3,000 mAb infusion since December 2020, with the majority of infusions administered since August 2021. As a result of this initiative, MLH will be able to treat up to 1,000 patients per week as needed.
The mAb therapy is the first COVID-19 treatment granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for outpatient use. A Phase 3 clinical trial showed that the antibody therapy reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by up to 70% in patients who received the drug intravenously compared to those who received a placebo.
On March 17, 2021, HHS announced it was investing $150 million to increase access to mAb therapy for high-risk patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities across the country. With support from KPMG LLP, HHS is working to expand access to mAb treatment by leveraging an existing network of health care partners to provide the therapy for underserved and disadvantaged populations. With the MLH locations, 65 infusion sites have now been established or expanded under this initiative.
About Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare:
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has been caring for patients and families regardless of ability to pay for more than 100 years. Guided by roots in the United Methodist Church and founded in 1918 to help meet the growing need for quality healthcare in the greater Memphis area, MLH has grown from one hospital into a comprehensive healthcare system with 13,000 Associates supporting six hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, outpatient facilities, hospice residence and physician practices serving communities across the Mid-South. From transplants and advanced heart procedures to expert neurology services and compassionate cancer care, MLH offers clinical expertise with a focus on improving every life we touch.
About Crush COVID:
A treatment for COVID-19 is here and is available in every state at hundreds of locations across the country. With the help of KPMG, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), state and local health departments, and local hospitals and health clinics, eligible patients will have increased access to mAb treatment in a growing number of underserved and disadvantaged communities through this initiative. Authorized by the FDA, monoclonal antibody therapy (mAb) is available to patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are considered at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. To learn more about eligibility and find a treatment location near you, visit https://crushcovid.com.