Friday, August 12, 2016

Bringing Calm to the World of Complex Specialty Therapies

Today’s guest blog post comes from Nicole Hebbert, Vice President of Patient Access and Engagement at United BioSource Corp. (UBC).

Nicole discusses next generation patient support centers, a.k.a., hubs, that leverage technology to address patients' challenges between diagnosis and access to therapy. She also provides insights about how a hub can best operate as a central point of contact and information for all the stakeholders.

UBC offers electronically-enabled patient access solutions that are customized to meet the unique needs of each patient population. Click here to learn more about UBC's new suite of electronically-enabled patient access services.

Read on for Nicole’s thoughts.

Bringing Calm to the World of Complex Specialty Therapies
By Nicole Hebbert, Vice President, Patient Access & Engagement, UBC

Imagine you’re a patient with recurring symptoms that can’t be explained. You’ve been experiencing a new symptom every few months and you wonder if you’ll ever start to feel healthy again. You're worried. The physical, emotional, and psychological challenges are taking a toll on you and your family.

Now imagine that months, or even years, have passed. You’ve finally met with a specialist who recognizes your symptoms and has a diagnosis for you. You discuss therapeutic options and the doctor prescribes medication that has successfully treated other patients with the same disease. You breathe a huge sigh of relief. You see yourself resuming activities you’ve had to give up.

Then…you wait…days, maybe weeks for your prescription to be filled, and in the meantime you’re faced with paperwork and phone calls to your healthcare provider, insurance plan, patient advocacy groups, and alternate funding organizations. It seems that every contact leads to more questions, including questions about benefit structure, eligibility, deductible balances, copay responsibility, therapy administration, and pharmacy options.

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Now imagine a better way, a process that removes the burden on you, speeds access to therapy, and ultimately improves health outcomes.

Technology and Patient-Centric Care Combine to Improve Health Outcomes

One way we in the healthcare industry can improve patient access to medications is through the services of a patient support center, or a “hub” that serves as a centralized point of contact and helps patients and healthcare providers navigate the special requirements often associated with complex therapies. These patient access centers may also provide nursing support, patient education and outreach, and refill assistance.

We’ve learned that when all of these services are connected through an electronic support system that streamlines key interactions among the healthcare provider, payer, and patient, medication adherence and health outcomes can be improved.

And, yet, this type of system is the exception, not the rule.

Despite our digital age, a large percentage of prescriptions for specialty medications continue to be referred by prescribers to a hub via telephone or fax. In fact, according to our analysis of hub practices, UBC estimates that nearly 95% of referrals are faxed and more than 20% are missing a critical piece of information required to fulfill a prescription. Through electronic enrollment and signature capabilities, patient access centers can collect prescribers’ and patients’ signatures in a matter of seconds, removing a significant time burden from the physician and immediately beginning the process of helping the patient access medication.

In addition, we know that U.S. physician practices spend $31 billion annually interacting with health plans. A significant portion of that cost is directly related to prior authorization and medication formulary requirements. An electronic prior authorization service, however, gives physicians automatic access to the information and forms needed for each payer.

Connected Care in Action

We live in a world of exciting innovations in healthcare, and with that innovation come complex therapies. In my more than 20 years of working in the fields of specialty pharmacy, reimbursement processes and patient support services, I’ve never seen a time with more potential to deliver life-changing therapies to patients. And, that is what we do at UBC every day. Our patient access teams, including reimbursement specialists, patient care advocates, nurses, and pharmacists, work together to help ensure patients receive medication and any clinical support needed in a timely manner.

Now, we’ve launched a new suite of digital tools that are powering the high-touch care our teams deliver with unprecedented speed and accuracy. These electronically-enabled patient access solutions are customized by program to meet the unique needs of each patient population.

Together, our professionals and leading-edge tools are working to create a future where the patient story I described above no longer exists.

Contact me or visit us if you’d like to learn more about UBC’s new suite of electronically-enabled patient access services. And, if you’ll be attending CBI’s conferences in Philadelphia next week, be sure to join my colleagues for their presentations:

Revolutionize the Therapeutic Experience with Data-Driven Insights
and Engaging Technology

Ron Lacy, Senior Director, Healthcare Analytics and Technology, UBC
CBI Patient Journey Mapping, Philadelphia, PA
August 16, 9:30 a.m. EST

Living with a Disease is Difficult. The Therapeutic Experience Shouldn’t Be.
Roy Hall, Senior Director, Commercial Product & Service Development, UBC
CBI Reimbursement & Access , Philadelphia, PA
August 17, 2:35 p.m. EST

UBC is a leading provider of comprehensive pharmaceutical services, including patient access services, late stage and postapproval research, and safety services. Visit to learn more.

The content of Sponsored Posts does not necessarily reflect the views of Pembroke Consulting, Inc., Drug Channels, or any of its employees.

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