Thursday, April 01, 2021

Streamlining the Specialty Therapy Prescribing and Enrollment Experience

Today’s guest post comes from Megan Marchal, CoverMyMeds Specialty Pharmacy’s pharmacist in charge.

Megan discusses a recent enhancement to AMP: Access for More Patients™ (AMP), a tech-enabled hub and patient access service from CoverMyMeds and RxCrossroads by McKesson. Read more about technology and patient access in CoverMyMeds’ 2021 Medication Access Report.

Read on for Megan’s insights.

Streamlining the Specialty Therapy Prescribing and Enrollment Experience
By Megan Marchal, PharmD, R.Ph, Pharmacist in Charge, CoverMyMeds Specialty Pharmacy

Despite representing only about 2 percent of U.S. prescription volume, specialty medications present major challenges for patients—as well as the providers, care teams and pharmacists supporting them.

For one, they’re expensive, representing 36 percent of pharmacy industry revenue in 2019—about $161 billion. While the high cost of these medications can be a barrier, simply accessing therapy can prove even more difficult—with many patients often left to manage their own care. According to patients we surveyed, 82 percent have spent an hour on the phone coordinating care for specialty therapies. More than a third of patients spent at least three hours.

One could argue that few developments in healthcare have drastically impacted stakeholders quite like the emergence and widespread utilization of these high-cost, high-complexity therapies.

While hub services have lessened the burden for patients and the healthcare network, continued innovation is critical for the successful transition from time-consuming and complicated to streamlined and efficient for everyone. Equally important is the spectrum of support these access programs offer patients—including affordability services. After all, a patient cannot benefit from a prescribed therapy if they’re unable to afford and adhere to it.

Here, I highlight how a recent enhancement to AMP: Access for More Patients™ helps remove another layer of complexity from the process.


With specialty therapies, multiple points in the process impact a patient’s ability to access the medication they need. While hubs are designed to aid patients starting a specialty medication, historically they haven’t been optimized for providers.

Enter AMP, a technology-driven hub and patient support solution that transforms how a patient accesses, affords and adheres to their complex therapies. The end-to-end integrated hub offering electronically connects providers, pharmacists and payers through a single location to provide visibility into the patient journey—from prescribing and enrollment to adherence.

Within a traditional hub program, services are provided by different vendors, requiring providers to log in to multiple platforms to complete enrollment activities to help a patient access therapy. The complexity of toggling between various platforms to support a patient enrolled in one program adds to provider tasks, affecting how quickly a patient can access the medication they need.

By centralizing access to support program services in one location and leveraging technology that streamlines repetitive tasks while enabling connectivity and visibility into the status of the patient journey, the provider and care team can quickly and easily understand what actions need to happen next to move the patient forward. In some cases, such inclusive patient support services have contributed to a 34 percent reduction in time to therapy.


AMP’s newest feature, Script Start™, enhances patient support capabilities by combining prescribing and patient enrollment in one step. In turn, providers can simultaneously submit valid prescriptions and initiate patient enrollment into sponsored support programs directly within their CoverMyMeds account. The ability to complete both tasks from a single electronic platform in workflow helps eliminate the need for the provider to engage with multiple platforms to prescribe and enroll a patient—enabling an even more streamlined process and improved speed to therapy for patients.
Providers who choose to become an authorized prescriber for Script Start™ can complete a simple process directly within their CoverMyMeds account. Once a provider’s credentials are verified and they become authorized, Script Start™ allows prescriptions to be transmitted via the enrollment form for sponsored programs.

Additionally, once a provider is a Script Start™ authorized prescriber, the prescriptions they transmit on the enrollment form for sponsored programs through CoverMyMeds are valid—eliminating the need for manual follow up to validate.

Further, providers can choose to authorize members of their staff to transmit prescriptions on their behalf as a delegate, in accordance with state prescribing rules. We know many care team members are active within their CoverMyMeds account and often lead administrative tasks to continue a patient’s journey to therapy as quickly as possible. Enabling providers to approve these delegates to become authorized to transmit prescriptions via enrollment form for sponsored programs on their behalf benefits everyone.

For both the provider and delegate, it simplifies the overall prescribing and enrollment process through a single step and eliminates the need to verify the prescription once it’s received. Most importantly, the patient is ultimately positively impacted by the potential for quicker access. Since the feature launched in early 2021, more than 1,600 CoverMyMeds account users have requested authorization to use this feature.

The adoption of innovative technology does more than simplify processes and workflows—it helps patients overcome their most challenging access, affordability and adherence barriers, too. Learn more about the benefits of streamlined, electronic patient support services and read how technology can positively impact patients in our 2021 Medication Access Report.

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