Friday, April 14, 2023

Digital Transformation: Facilitating Healthcare Provider and Patient Behavior Change

Today’s guest post comes from Edward Hensley, Chief Commercial Officer at AssistRx.

Edward discusses how a technology-first approach automates manual processes for therapy initiation. He argues that such an approach can increase patient adherence, speed access to therapy, and improve the healthcare providers’ workflow.

To learn about AssistRx’s technology-first solutions, click here to schedule a meeting at Asembia’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit.

Read on for Edward’s insights.

Digital Transformation: Facilitating Healthcare Provider and Patient Behavior Change
By Edward Hensley, Chief Commercial Officer, AssistRx

The goal of a digital transformation is, according to ZDNet, “to use technology not just to replicate an existing service in a digital form, but to use technology to transform that service into something significantly better.” For the specialty pharmaceutical industry, a “digital transformation” in the form of technology-first services involves encouraging patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) to adopt digital methods throughout the therapy journey and the product lifecycle.

Whether launching a new product, innovating at mid-lifecycle or facing loss of exclusivity (LOE), technology-first solutions improve efficiencies for patients and HCPs, increasing the likelihood of adoption for both the product and the technology driving differentiated experiences. However, delivering the right technology, at the right time, through the right delivery method requires a partner that understands how to strike the right balance of tech + talent based on the product.

New Product: Driving Product Adoption While Overcoming Access Hurdles

Access hurdles abound for new-to-market products, requiring the balance of tech + talent to skew toward talent. As the product awaits formulary placement, many processes require manual intervention, such as identifying the correct prior authorization (PA) form, understanding step-edit requirements, etc. Further, getting the product established on formulary may require a concentrated effort to demonstrate product demand and clinical effectiveness.

More technology-enabled methods can be integrated once the product gets on formulary, more payer coverage data becomes available, and patients and HCPs become familiar with the process. This is because product- and patient plan-specific data can be electronically retrieved across more patient lives and with higher accuracy—and patients and HCPs require less handholding. Digital methods allow even new-to-market products to deliver better patient and HCP experiences and improved perception of access by reducing risk for errors, rapidly returning information and streamlining the process.

Achieving better experiences and strong perception of access requires change in behavior. Patients and HCPs may be accustomed to using manual methods for competitor brands or perceive access for existing products to be stronger than newly launched ones. Thus, patient support and field teams need to educate patients and HCPs about the product’s patient support program offerings and the advantages of accessing them.

Education alone cannot achieve a change in behavior. Technology, such as the brand’s website or therapy initiation platforms like iAssist, must be simple and reliable. It’s the balance of tech + talent that creates differentiated experiences, as well as the behavior change needed for a digital transformation.

Mid-lifecycle and LOE: Moving from Manual Methods to Technology-first Methods

The next behavioral shift is the adoption of technology-first methods. As the product moves to mid-lifecycle and/or approaches LOE, life sciences organizations should seek opportunities to lower operating costs and retain market share. Automated solutions ultimately pull FTEs away from data entry and onto higher value-add touchpoints.

Technology-first solutions automate manual processes with nearly all therapy initiation tasks completed electronically in the background. Some of these technology-first solutions include:
  • Advanced Benefit Verification* (ABV): Initiated by the HCP, this technology-first approach leverages direct connectivity to provide immediate and comprehensive patient coverage results in under 15 seconds. Returns include payer/PBM name and type, BIN, PCN, member ID, group ID, effective/term dates, deductibles, patient OOP costs, formulary tier status, access restrictions and more.
  • Advanced Prior Authorization* (APA): Initiated by the HCP, this real-time PA solution returns the appropriate patient plan- and product-specific PA question set and enables real-time PA submission with payer/PBM decisions returned in minutes.
  • Patient Coverage Check: Technology-first approach leveraging direct connectivity to empower patients to check their coverage status, as well as any PA, step therapy, dispensing pharmacy requirements and more. Data is returned 95% of the time and in under three seconds.
  • e-Copay and e-Patient Assistance Programs: A real-time eligibility and enrollment solution for copay and patient assistance programs (PAPs). By using ABV, e-income verification tools and other data sources, HCPs can proactively and in real time perform eligibility screening, enrollment and copay card/voucher generation.
  • Advanced Clinical Education (ACE): Technology-first clinical support encompassing virtual visits, reporting, and self-serve appointment scheduling. Integrated with the CRM, ACE facilitates a full and reportable view of patient cases.
*HCP-facing tool only

As HCPs self-serve and move through their workflows faster due to technology-first solutions, patients gain accelerated access to therapy. Coincidingly, as patients self-serve, HCPs are freed up to support more patients. To drive a digital transformation, it’s critical to capture data like this to share with HCPs and patients who still prefer manual methods.

Talent-enabled touchpoints with HCPs and patients should entice them to adopt technology-first solutions. For example, field teams should be equipped with marketing material about digital services. When engaging in digital channels, patients and HCPs should receive positive reinforcement such as faster delivery of data, more accurate and digestible information, and offramps to talent-enabled support, if needed.

Life sciences organizations should seek a partner having the technological capabilities and legacy expertise to not only deploy the right balance of tech + talent for the product, but also to support the behavior change behind a digital transformation.

Learn how AssistRx’s technology-first solutions can optimize your program by meeting with us at Asembia’s Specialty Pharmacy Summit, which will be held from April 30 to May 4, 2023. Schedule your meeting here.

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