Friday, October 06, 2023

Four Ways Digital Intake Can Transform Patient Support Programs, Overcome Access Barriers, and Improve Outcomes

Today’s guest post comes from Michael Carr, Group Vice President, CoAssist Pharmacy at AssistRx.

Michael discusses the challenges that patients and healthcare providers face during the prescription intake and enrollment process. He outlines four key features of solutions that improve digital intake.

To learn about AssistRx’s digital intake technologies, download their case study: Digital Intake for More Meaningful Patient and HCP Interactions.

Read on for Michael’s insights.

Four Ways Digital Intake Can Transform Patient Support Programs, Overcome Access Barriers, and Improve Outcomes
By Michael Carr, Group Vice President, CoAssist Pharmacy at AssistRx

For more than a decade, the specialty pharmaceutical space has sought ways to modernize prescription intake and enrollment into increasingly robust patient support programs. As support programs’ scope of services expand and access services like benefit verification (BV) and prior authorization (PA) become commoditized, programs continuously need to do more with less—and better than competitor products in the market. This requires technology efficiencies, strategic focus on differentiating touchpoints and solid methods of tracking success.

In an industry rife with regulation that can stifle innovation, life sciences organizations are just now adopting technology-first solutions that digitize and automate traditionally manual processes like capturing consent, program enrollment, BVs, PAs, financial assistance eligibility screening, etc. These solutions, perfectly balanced with knowledgeable, empathetic talent, support patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) with best-in-class experiences and improved performance measured by the right healthcare key performance indicators (KPIs).

Here are four ways we’re seeing the most impactful application of these solutions—known as digital intake methods or digital hubs:

1. Eliminating the Enrollment Form

Enrollment forms are a source of frustration for life sciences organizations, HCPs and patients alike. Missing, incorrect or illegible information manually entered on the form cause back and forth, rework and resulting delays that increase time to therapy.

Digitizing the enrollment form eliminates many of the headaches caused by manual methods. HCPs are immediately presented with the correct digital form to be completed and submitted electronically and directly to the patient support program. This method should be repeated for formerly offline steps to streamline HCP and patient experiences, improve turnaround times (TAT) and capture better data for reporting.

Programs can go beyond digitizing enrollment forms to eliminating them entirely. Once the HCP submits an e-prescription through their EHR, digital hubs like CoAssist capture everything needed to immediately kick off support services—no enrollment form needed.

2. Using Automation to Reduce Turnaround Times

Life sciences organizations should seek partners that are able to automate technology-first solutions like consent capture, BVs, PAs, and identifying the best affordability option for prescription routing — and kick them off at the point of prescription. Triggered by receipt of the prescription from the HCP’s EHR, the CoAssist platform digitally intakes the information, and upon a pharmacist’s review and validation, sends a welcome/consent text message to the patient in under 12 seconds.

Immediately, CoAssist uses its proprietary Advanced BV (ABV) to return patient coverage in less than 15 seconds, automatically initiates the PA process via its Advanced PA (APA) tool, identifies and enrolls the patient in the best affordability option in real time, and routes the prescription for dispense.

For one client, utilizing the CoAssist platform improved speed to therapy from the previous partner’s 12.2-day TAT to CoAssist’s 3.7-day TAT.

3. Refocusing Talent Resources on Impactful Touchpoints

The true value in utilizing digital intake comes in improving FTE efficiency and utilization. According to a March 2023 AssistRx survey of patient support leaders, respondents indicated they would d invest in technology rather than people for access and affordability services when given an unlimited budget. Specifically, 55.6% said they’d invest in fully technology-powered tools, while 33.3% indicated they’d invest in associates.

This demonstrates a shift from the old way of tackling access hurdles to increasingly reallocating FTE time toward impactful touchpoints with patients and HCPs. Ultimately, improving FTE utilization creates program efficiencies while delivering better patient and HCP experiences. Automated processes deliver real-time results that meet today’s customer expectations, while people-focused processes deliver white glove services where they make the biggest impact.

4. Creating and Tracking Against the Right KPIs

Where fully digital, automated processes for therapy initiation steps now exist, life sciences organizations can create and track against the right KPIs. For example, CoAssist worked with one client to compare its traditional hub KPIs with its CoAssist program KPIs. PA decision TAT decreased by 39%. This, in combination with technology utilization, decreased total dispense TAT by 50%—from the previous vendor’s five-day TAT to CoAssist’s 2.5-day TAT.

While measurements like PA approval rates and TAT are helpful, program performance analytics are only as good as the data provided. CoAssist returns near real-time insights utilizing its API connectivity to multiple data sources, including pharmacies. Together with a consultative service provider, life sciences organizations can use the right KPIs and measurement methods to best track impact per service. The right partner will mature measurements from initial access-focused KPIs at launch to experience-based KPIs at mid-lifecycle and beyond.

Life sciences organizations embracing digital intake have built efficiencies for their programs that enable them to do more with less and with intention. CoAssist provides a platform that allows talent to focus on patients and HCPs, not operating technology. This creates differentiated experiences and ongoing optimal program performance centered around the patient. Learn how to apply digital intake strategy in our latest case study, Digital Intake for More Meaningful Patient and HCP Interactions.

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