Joselyn Raymundo

Rochester Home Infusion Seeking Ground in Destination Medical City- Part 2, The Ask

Missed Part 1 of this story? Click here for the first of this two part series on Rochester Home Infusion.

Rochester Home Infusion Founder Joselyn Raymundo. Photo courtesty of Rochester Home Infusion.

Rochester Home Infusion Founder Joselyn Raymundo. Photo courtesty of Rochester Home Infusion.

Rochester Home Infusion (RHI) Founder Joselyn Raymundo and her team strive to provide their patients with the best care possible so they can achieve some sense of normalcy.

“What matters is the patient," she tells her team. "They’re the ones who are sick. They’re the ones who may be having financial difficulties, medical crises, family crises. It touches so many aspects of their lives.”

RHI is currently licensed in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Colorado. Raymundo hopes to soon move into markets in Nebraska, North Dakota, and Michigan to cover seventy percent of patients who travel to Rochester for the Mayo Clinic.

She says RHI has taken the time to understand the patient experience at Mayo and is well poised to deliver that final, positive impression.

“We can augment the Mayo experience. We can collaborate with [Mayo] and deliver something very special. Not just for the patient, but also for Mayo Clinic,”
 she stated.

RHI utilizes an extensive clinical monitoring program to extend medical expertise from the hospital to the home.

“We try to really, truly respect what the patient needs and what the hospital needs,” Raymundo said.

When a Mayo Clinic patient requires an infusion, they are given the option to use the clinic’s Infusion Therapy Center (ITC) or a home infusion service. RHI should be included on a list of in-home providers- alongside giants like CVS, BioFusion, and Option Care- which is then given to the patient.

RHI clean room. Photo courtesty of Rochester Home Infusion.

RHI clean room. Photo courtesty of Rochester Home Infusion.

If RHI is chosen as the provider, Clinical Nurse Manager Kris Gillard arrives at the hospital within an hour to instruct the patient about their medication and how to infuse at home. If the patient lives in Rochester, Gillard would then visit their home at least once a week to assess and monitor recovery with a carefully curated list of questions and measurements. Then, RHI pharmacist Steven Ly follows up with a phone call.

If a patient does not live in Rochester, RHI works with a local nursing agency provider and again supplies the attending nurse with list of questions to ask and measurements to take to ensure that patients are recovering and to address potential relapse as quickly as possible.

“That prevents rehospitalization and ER visits. It’s good, all around, for everybody,” Raymundo explained.

To launch RHI and fill a healthcare gap in southeastern Minnesota, Raymundo took a huge risk in relocating her entire family- three kids and a husband- to Rochester. RHI was the first and only medically-focused tenant in the BioBusiness Center with absolutely no ties to Mayo Clinic.

“Nobody ever asked me to come here. And I didn’t ask anyone’s permission,” she said. Raymundo self-funded the whole business, taking money from no one to launch her vision.

Now, she’s just asking for a fair shot and working to raise awareness that an alternative to the ITC exists in Rochester. She says RHI is not in competition with Mayo; it would be a major success to even get a small fraction of the clinic’s infusion patients.

“ITC is not for everybody. Some patients actually would want to go back to work sooner. Some patients cannot even drive to get there,” she explained.

Unfortunately, RHI does not always get presented to patients as a viable option.

“Awareness is big. Just being given a fair chance. We’re not asking for any special treatment from anybody. We just want to be presented to patients in a way that is objective so they are aware that they have options,” explained Raymundo.

She says that Mayo needs to create a more competitive environment for people following some of their patients, like RHI.

“If they make it competitive, then everybody will be trying to do their best to outdo each other,” she said.

The Destination Medical Center draw pulled Raymundo to Rochester in the first place. However, she says DMC needs local success stories to inspire other entrepreneurs, especially those without ties to Mayo, to pick up and move to Rochester.

She thinks DMC needs a homerun with a large company.

“But guess what? That’s not how it’s built. You need to hit a lot of singles. …You need a lot of people like me to hit the singles. That creates the entrepreneurial environment. And I’m trying to get the double. I’m sprinting for the double but I’m kind of in a pickle,” she said.

Raymundo could easily move her family back to the Twin Cities and commute to Rochester for her business. But she wants to be part of the community, including all the ups and downs.

“Because if you’re part of the community, then you’re invested. And if you’re invested, then you really take it to heart what your community’s trying to establish,” she explained.

Rochester Home Infusion Seeking Ground in Destination Medical City- Part 1, Nuts and Bolts

Photo courtesy of Rochester Home Infusion.

Photo courtesy of Rochester Home Infusion.

Rochester Home Infusion- the only home infusion provider in Rochester, Minn.- brings intravenous (IV) therapies to the patient in the convenience of their home or temporary residence and gets patients back to a normal life as quickly as possible. This four-year-old healthcare startup is revolutionizing in-home patient services in Rochester and augmenting Mayo Clinic care outside of the hospital walls. Now, Founder Joselyn Raymundo says Rochester Home Infusion (RHI) is just asking for an even playing field so they can continue to grow and build upon this city’s strong history of healthcare.

Raymundo herself has a lengthy history of experience in entrepreneurship and just starting something. The Saint Paul native spent several years at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, where she launched both their Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and Home Infusion programs. Her vision allowed Children’s to dominate the child-specific home infusion market in the Twin Cities for several years and be a fierce competitor to their main rival, Pediatric Home Services.

Raymundo pioneered the home infusion program at Children’s for eleven years before being courted by Accredo- a Tennessee-based specialty pharmacy- to run their multi-state Midwestern division as well as their home infusion department, called Critical Care Systems.

Rochester Home Infusion Founder Joselyn Raymundo. Photo courtesy of Rochester Home Infusion.

Rochester Home Infusion Founder Joselyn Raymundo. Photo courtesy of Rochester Home Infusion.

After Raymundo ran Critical Care Systems for about a year and a half, Accredo was acquired by Express Scripts, a massive pharmacy benefit management organization based out of Saint Louis. The focus of Express Scripts was much different than her own; Raymundo felt it was a good time to cut ties with the organization and strike out by herself. She dreamed of launching her own home infusion company for several years and decided the time was ripe.

The stint with Accredo had opened Raymundo’s eyes to the entire home infusion market in Minnesota. She realized that southeastern Minnesota was drastically underserved in this regard.

The breadth of this market gap really struck home one night during some 2AM internet market research when Raymundo came across the old Destination Medical Center (DMC) website. DMC is a massive public private partnership to make Rochester, Minn. a global destination for healthcare and wellness. At the time, the site contained a map of all destinations for medical treatment in the United States. Places like Cleveland Clinic, MD Anderson, Johns Hopkins, and Mayo Clinic. She then mapped all home infusion centers within one hour of these medical cities.

“Pretty much every single one of them had at least five, if not eight, home infusion providers,” Raymundo explained.

All except for Rochester.

People who travel to these centers for their first, second, or even third opinions need to take that tailored expertise back home to continue with their work and life. Home infusion centers serve to “extend that excellence of care really from the hospital to the patient’s home, wherever they are.”

To solve this problem, and bring Rochester up-to-speed with other medical destination cities, Raymundo launched Rochester Home Infusion out of the BioBusiness Center in downtown Rochester in late 2013.

Raymundo and her team of pharmacists and clinicians at RHI work with the patient and their physician to create personalized care plans for in-home IV medical treatment. RHI provides common infusion therapies like antibiotics, magnesium balls, immunoglobulin treatment, and home parental nutrition where it’s convenient and comfortable for the patient.

All the medications are prepared in RHI’s state-of-the-art clean room, right here in Rochester. Treatments are packaged into an ambulatory device that works best for the patient- like a backpack, fanny pack, or other small package- so the patient can medicate at home or infuse discreetly at work or during social events- like proms and weddings- so that patients can continue with their lives as normally as possible.

Without a provider like RHI, transplant patients could spend up to four hours, daily, receiving treatment. This includes traveling from a residence- temporary or permanent- in Rochester to Mayo’s Infusion Therapy Center (ITC), parking, checking-in, waiting, and then finally infusing for two hours.

With RHI, patients instead are set up with an infusion device, which they are carefully instructed by a RHI clinical nurse how to care for and use. Patients can then fill the device with their pre-packaged medication, connect to their PICC line, and are quickly ready to infuse their treatment at home or while they go about their daily lives.

“Being in your own home is a critical part of the healing process that gave us a sense of feeling normal again,” explained one RHI patient.