Friday, March 27, 2020

Expanding How CoverMyMeds Helps Patients Access Their Medications

Today’s guest post comes from David Holladay, President of CoverMyMeds and Austin Raper, Healthcare Writer at CoverMyMeds.

First, David discusses how CoverMyMeds supports medication access. Then, Austin highlights key findings from CoverMyMeds’ 2020 Medication Access Report. This new report includes industry research, patient interviews, novel survey data, and strategies for boosting patients’ medication access.

Read on for David’s and Austin’s insights.

By David Holladay, President, CoverMyMeds

A little over a decade ago, momentum began building for an innovative healthcare IT solution to address the unintended consequences of prior authorization (PA). Today, few technologies have garnered such widespread support and adoption as electronic prior authorization (ePA).

As an industry, healthcare stakeholders embraced challenges to break the status quo, accept an imperfect compromise and work together to create electronic connectivity. While these selfless efforts continue to make a positive impact in the lives of patients, we must recognize that medication access challenges extend beyond PA alone.

CoverMyMeds’ mission is to help patients get the medication they need to live healthy lives. This mission continues to guide our decision making—fueling our innovative spirit and encouraging us to always do the right thing for patients.

Every day, I am inspired by the work our team does to fulfill this mission. We work together to solve big problems—breaking with convention and thinking outside the box to make a lasting impact on the world.

To stay true to our mission, we see the importance of identifying and catalyzing meaningful change in all areas of medication access. First and foremost, we believe that to create impactful solutions for patients, we must understand where and how they are hurting most.

To help achieve this goal, we developed the 2020 Medication Access Report to bring attention to the challenges patients are facing and to consider solutions that can make the most difference in helping them get the medications they need.

By Austin Raper, Ph.D., Healthcare Writer, CoverMyMeds

The Medication Access Report identifies and characterizes some of the most common prescription barriers for patients: lack of prescription price transparency, complications from PA and difficulty accessing specialty therapies.

To inform on these topics, the report includes industry research, patient interviews, novel survey data and insight from an advisory board of healthcare experts. These elements also help to reveal stakeholder sentiments surrounding medication access challenges and point to emerging solutions that can help make a difference.


The uninsured and underinsured (i.e., those covered by high-deductible health plans) are vulnerable to healthcare costs for at least part of the year and account for over one third of Americans.

In a survey to 1,000 patients, 72 percent expressed some level of difficulty in paying for medications during the deductible period. Consistently, 69 percent of patients recalled making sacrifices to afford their medications – some (33 percent) voiced the need to make such sacrifices once a month or more.

While patients value paying the lowest price for medications, they often do not have visibility into how much prescriptions will cost before arriving at the pharmacy and are not aware of affordability options available to them (e.g., financial assistance, cash price).

As a follow-up to the Medication Access Report, our Report on Prescription Decision Support outlines a strategy for empowering patients, providers and care team members with technology to support prescription decisions at the point of care and beyond.


While ePA technology has sparked positive industry change, half of PA requests are still completed through traditional, paper-based processes. According to the Medication Access Report, such outdated methods continue to impede medication access as 55 percent of surveyed patients reported delays in starting therapy due to PA in the last year.

For ePA solutions to make the most impact for patients, it’s important to understand barriers of provider adoption while leveraging data to encourage productive PA workflows and debunk common ePA misconceptions.

For more information, the 2020 Report on Electronic Prior Authorization highlights stakeholder adoption status and offers suggestions for how to best utilize ePA to help patients.


Specialty therapies can go beyond managing symptoms of chronic diseases to addressing the root causes—sometimes offering patients a chance to live healthy lives for the first time. However, these medications are expensive and especially difficult for patients to access.

As revealed in the Medication Access Report, administrative requirements and complicated workflows associated with specialty medications can be burdensome for patients and providers. For example, 82 percent of surveyed patients and 75 percent of surveyed providers reported spending at least one hour per week completing administrative work for each prescribed therapy.

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While support services exist, traditional hubs operate through manual workflows, which do little to connect stakeholders or accelerate time to therapy.

In addition to the Medication Access Report, our new 2020 Report on Specialty Patient Support further describes the healthcare complexities of specialty medications and introduces tech-enabled hub services for real-time connections and streamlined workflows to help improve time to therapy.

To see how CoverMyMeds is staying true to our mission of helping patients, read our 2020 Medication Access Report.

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