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The specialty medications journey is complex—even to people who've made a career out of improving healthcare interoperability. My colleague, Andrew Mellin, M.D., M.B.A., recently shared, "In my more than 20 years in health IT, this is the most complicated process I've ever seen to get a patient on a therapy."

To dispense a specialty medication, multiple stakeholders have to gather and hand off various pieces of clinical information, and prior authorizations are usually required. Unfortunately, it lowers the dispense rate when this process is done manually via paper forms, phone calls and faxes. Nearly 40% of prescribers reported a two-week wait to start the average patient on a new specialty drug. These inefficiencies spread administrative and financial burden throughout the system and increase risks of patient non-adherence.

Fortunately, these are problems we know how to solve.

In July 2020, Surescripts and Point-of-Care Partners assessed the use of Specialty Medications Gateway and Specialty Patient Enrollment at Accredo specialty pharmacy and three physician practices. Accredo cut operational costs by significantly limiting the need for pharmacists and staff to hunt for missing clinical data—leading to a faster time to therapy.

"We all want the same thing: clear communication that helps get patients started on therapy in a safe and timely manner," Katie Reeves, Senior Product Manager at Accredo, explained.

Accredo Data Brief Results

But we can't stop here. The demand for access to critical data will only intensify, so we need to keep innovating. And this goes beyond just passing information along from one entity to another. Instead, providers need clinical intelligence that is actionable and meaningful so that they can make better-informed care decisions.

Our new partnership with Diameter Health represents a key step for furthering our clinical intelligence capabilities.

Specifically, the partnership will accelerate the ability to incorporate powerful clinical intelligence into Surescripts Specialty Medications Gateway by providing standardized data that readily communicates patient history and status.

Partnering with Diameter Health will enhance Surescripts’ clinical intelligence solutions for specialty pharmacies

As Dr. Paulo Pinho, Vice President and Medical Director of Innovation at Diameter Health, explained, "This important partnership will help overcome existing challenges by filling in missing or incomplete patient data and providing it in a way that is actionable for specialty pharmacists, so they can get patients started on therapy faster."

For patients, this means less uncertainty, less waiting and more living.

Please read our announcement about the partnership or learn more about how Surescripts is transforming the process for specialty medications.

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