Friday, June 11, 2021

The Top Five Considerations When Choosing a Patient Solutions Provider

Today’s guest post comes from Jan Nielsen, Division President of AssistRx Patient Solutions.

Jan provides five criteria that manufacturers can use when evaluating the capabilities of a Patient Solutions Provider (PSP), a.k.a. a hub vendor.

To learn more, register for AssistRx's new, four-part webinar series: “Leading the Market in a Rapidly Changing Patient Solutions Landscape.”

Read on for Jan’s insights.

The Top Five Considerations When Choosing a Patient Solutions Provider
By Jan Nielsen, Division President, AssistRx Patient Solutions

A decade ago, specialty pharmaceutical hubs were primarily known as reimbursement hubs, as they performed “a range of activities for payers, patients and providers related to reimbursement and patient access support.” Today, hubs—both internal and outsourced—are more ubiquitous, empowering brands with particularly efficient and differentiated service offerings. Out of the 28 recognized hub organizations, most offer access, affordability and adherence support.

Distinguishing which hub vendor—more aptly described as patient solutions provider (PSP)—will best support your patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) and elevate your brand involves three steps:
  1. Identifying your product’s requirements, and your patients’ and HCPs’ needs and preferences
  2. Prioritizing these requirements based on the needs of your organization and which elements are most important to your patient and HCP populations
  3. Evaluating each PSP’s capabilities against these requirements
As you move through this process, here are a few top considerations to keep in mind:


Patients receiving effective access, education and adherence support from a PSP should be met when, where and how they want to engage with the brand. The PSP should be able to successfully stratify patients/caregivers by evaluating a number of factors. At a minimum, these factors should include adherence risk, communication preference, quality of life scoring, life stage and the patient’s prescriber, payer and specialty pharmacy.

While some patients/caregivers can self-serve, others require more support. Communications must be stratified to occur at the patient’s point of need and via their preferred communication channel. By enabling texting, video conferencing and web-based self-service tools, in addition to traditional outreach methods, brands can maximize the value of every touchpoint.


While therapy initiation and patient support can be significantly streamlined with technology solutions, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of your HCP population’s practice and familiarity with specialty products. For example, HCPs with limited resources and/or less familiarity with specialty products may require more assistance, while more experienced specialists or those within large medical centers may be able to self-serve via e-support services.


When considering technology integration, brands should take a look under the hood—checking for compliance, accuracy and speed—when investing in a PSP’s technology-enabled solutions. Be sure to have an in-depth understanding of technology that will be most effective for your program and compare the functionality of like technologies across multiple solutions providers.

Many PSPs that began as call centers now claim to deliver high-tech capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Others offer patient-facing mobile applications to meet perceived consumer desire. While these particular buzzword solutions are full of promise, they can be difficult and costly to deliver or ineffective for your brand’s patient and/or HCP population.

Tools that provide practical value, such as real-time prescription price transparency and electronic prior authorizations (e-PAs) within the HCP’s existing workflow, will make the biggest impact on HCP perception of your brand.

AssistRx’s Advanced Benefit Verification (ABV) tool grants HCPs access to real-time comprehensive patient coverage, patient out-of-pocket cost, drug access restrictions, coverage alerts and fill options for all therapies in under 30 seconds and with only five patient identifiers.

Similarly, AssistRx’s real-time e-PA tool provides HCPs connectivity for more than 80% of covered lives in the market, along with PA status and tracking. No generic digital presentation of PA forms—only questions and response options relevant to the product and patient’s payer are presented. This solution ensures ease of use, reduces missing information and delivers payer responses within minutes.


The balance of technology- and talent-enabled solutions your PSP uses should evolve as the brand matures. Early on, PSPs need to prioritize access efforts, as payers are still adding the product to formulary and determining coverage. The team will also need to focus on adherence and persistency to keep patients on therapy. Both endeavors require a talent component and are critical to ensuring HCP confidence in prescribing your product.

As brands move through mid- and end-lifecycle stages, the balance of technology and talent shifts as technology automates more processes. In these stages, talent can focus more on those touchpoints that require white-glove experiences—ensuring market share retention.


According to a recent Archbow Consulting whitepaper, many brands that traditionally outsourced their PSP programs are seeking greater control around patient-facing interactions. However, many brands lack the resources to support a fully insourced model. For this reason, many are partnering with PSPs that offer a hybrid model to maintain control over customer experiences without costly internal investments, as well as ensure compliance across program delivery and data management.

Regardless of preference to outsource a PSP or pursue a hybrid model, make sure to investigate your options via the above three steps. Your best bet is to choose a PSP that is nimble, rooted in technology, experienced in your prescriber’s’ work flow, and has a strong record of being consultative and delivering your preferred hub model. These PSPs can not only differentiate your brand, but also scale and adapt to the unique needs of the product, patient and HCP throughout the product lifecycle.

Learn more about how to evaluate a PSP’s capabilities against your brand’s needs by joining the AssistRx “Leading the Market in a Rapidly Changing Patient Solutions Landscape” webinar series.

Sponsored guest posts are bylined articles that are screened by Drug Channels to ensure a topical relevance to our exclusive audience. These posts do not necessarily reflect our opinions and should not be considered endorsements.

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