Friday, October 18, 2019

How Technology Will Drive the Future of Patient Access Services

Today’s guest post comes from Erica Conroy, Vice President of Specialty at CoverMyMeds, and Heather Morel, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Access and Adherence at RxCrossroads by McKesson.

Erica and Heather describe how access, affordability, and adherence challenge specialty patients. They outline the shortcomings of traditional hub service programs and introduce AMP: Access for More Patients™, a new solution from CoverMyMeds and RxCrossroads by McKesson.

To learn more, visit and download their case study: End-To-End Electronic Support Improves Patient Access for Specialty Medications.

Read on for Erica’s and Heather’s insights.

How Technology Will Drive the Future of Patient Access Services
By Erica Conroy, Ph.D., Vice President of Specialty, CoverMyMeds and Heather Morel, Ph.D., MBA, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Access and Adherence, RxCrossroads by McKesson

Biopharmaceutical manufacturers devote years to discovering breakthrough therapies that better patient outcomes and move the industry forward.

After approval and release to the market, these important therapies can be tough for patients to access. Unavoidable health care roadblocks, like clinical and insurance-related requirements, mean patients can face long waits before ever receiving their first dose of medication.

Such challenges are especially pronounced for specialty medications, which is why biopharma companies often sponsor support programs to help patients navigate access, affordability and adherence challenges. These programs, or “hubs” as they have come to be called, connect health care stakeholders to coordinate the many steps needed to start patients on a complex therapy.

Traditional hubs are set in a call center environment, with case workers making phone calls and faxing information to providers and health plans on behalf of patients. There can be little visibility for what or who may be the hold-up for starting therapy, so patients often prompt case workers for status updates or coordinate care on their own. It’s a fragmented system in need of a single, cohesive source of truth.

AMP: Access for More Patients™ is a new solution by CoverMyMeds and RxCrossroads by McKesson that cuts to the core of these problems by moving the hub model to a platform that is driven by technology and connected to an extensive health care network. Formerly manual processes that were completed by phone calls or faxes can now be completed electronically, and AMP adoption is accelerated through the existing CoverMyMeds provider base.

In fact, over 700,000 providers access the CoverMyMeds web portal regularly (i.e., within the last 90 days), including more than 90% of specialists in various therapeutic areas. (Source: CoverMyMeds data on file, 2019.) This network connectivity opens the door for viral adoption of AMP by providers which was recently demonstrated in a two-month AMP pilot study.

AMP meets providers where they are with omni-channel enrollment capabilities. Providers can choose to complete patient enrollment into AMP electronically (via e-prescription within their electronic health records system), on-line through the central CoverMyMeds web portal or through traditional channels, like fax. AMP is adaptable to any office workflow, giving providers flexibility to complete patient enrollment however they feel comfortable, with the technology they already have in place.

Such a comprehensive approach allowed providers to complete enrollment forms 92 percent of the time for ~1,250 patients prescribed a specialty therapy during the two-month pilot study. Of those enrollments, 48 percent were completed electronically, showing that more providers are recognizing the ease and speed of technology. (Source: CoverMyMeds data on file, 2019.)

Through AMP, all of the steps and touchpoints necessary to start patients on a specialty therapy are captured in a single dashboard. This capability allows for all stakeholders to see in real-time where patient cases are in the process, what steps are left to complete and who is needed to take action.

Coupled with the ability to auto-populate forms and complete many steps electronically, the result is truly an end-to-end experience with visibility throughout the entire patient journey that can help prevent bottlenecks and accelerate time-to-therapy. Whereas reimbursement components like benefits investigation, benefits verification and prior authorization can take weeks for the traditional hub model to complete, all of these steps were completed in an average of 11 days through AMP during the recent case study.

Throughout therapy, patients have the support of case managers backed by a technology that will not let their prescription fall through the cracks or their questions and concerns go unanswered. Because of this technology, case managers are less burdened with data entry and spend more time providing patients and caregivers much-needed support and education with a personal touch. For exceptions falling outside of the standard, electronic AMP workflow, human intervention is strategically used to correct unresolved issues and bring the case back on the right track for to help improve patient outcomes.

Every new specialty drug and physician practice has nuances and differences, individually and by therapeutic specialty. AMP has the capability to make rapid adjustments and updates that respond to these nuances and help improve the provider experience. Compared to the traditional hub model, turnaround times are faster and enrollment completion rate is higher on average, AMP case study. And because case managers are a critical aspect of specialty therapy operations, AMP continuously evaluates and updates the platform to optimize case manager workflows and efficiency as well.

Altogether, AMP speeds patient access to their specialty drugs, frees clinicians to devote more time to patient care and enables case managers to focus less on repetitive administrative tasks and more on helping patients access and adhere to their complex regimens.

To learn more about AMP, visit and download our case study: End-To-End Electronic Support Improves Patient Access for Specialty Medications.

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