White Bagging

About White Bagging

In the past few years, insurance companies have begun mandating the use of third-party vendors for infused or injected medications administered at hospitals — despite increased risks for children and adults with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Under this policy, which is known as “white bagging,” prescriptions are filled by a third-party specialty pharmacy and sent to the provider to prepare and dispense — even if the provider has the medication in stock.  

 White bagging allows the insurance company to make patient care decisions, rather than the clinician, and disregards many guardrails — drug integrity oversight, hospital quality control, decision support, and administrative oversight — that assure the health and safety of patients in the medication administration and handling process. Additionally, if the vendor is unable to deliver the medication — or the provider determines that the medication was improperly managed, stored, or handled — the patient must return for treatment on a different day. Delaying treatment puts patients’ health at risk, can lead to distress, and may impact overall treatment plans.