Simplifying the Delivery of Specialty Medications

Complexity. Delays. Paperwork. These are obstacles in specialty prescribing and fulfillment, which can slow or even stop patients from getting treatment. Automation and other recent innovations reduce complexity, delays and paperwork, so providers can focus on what matters most: patient health.

“Surescripts solutions accelerate the process for specialty prescribing, fulfillment and onboarding.”

– Katie Reeves, Senior Product Manager, Accredo specialty pharmacy

Accredo specialty pharmacy was an early adopter of automation within Specialty Medications Gateway—which enables pharmacists to retrieve clinical information directly from the electronic health record (EHR) without having to call or fax the prescriber—as a test case to overcome one challenge: weight-based dosing.

A patient’s weight can fluctuate over time. Sometimes the weight change becomes clinically significant, and if left unchecked, can lead to an overdose with exacerbated side effects (or worse) or an underdose with breakthrough symptoms.

But you don’t know what you don’t know.

Prior to automation, Accredo pharmacists could use Specialty Medications Gateway to access the patient’s weight information—but they still had to enter it into the dispensing system manually. Now, patient information can be pulled in automatically, and for Accredo, automating the delivery of the information made all the difference.

More than 11% of the time, when automation delivered the most recent weight for a patient, the change was clinically significant, meaning +/- 10% in weight change. Not only did automation create potential opportunities for outreach and the prevention of overdose or underdose in these instances, but it delivered the most recent weight for all patients 60% of the time.

Leveraging automation within Specialty Medications Gateway reduced unnecessary follow-up and created workflow efficiencies—all from actionable clinical data.

Purpose-built for the Specialty Medication Journey

E-Prescribing sets the standard for safe, clear prescriptions with technology that fosters high data quality and efficient communication between prescribers and pharmacists. Learn more about this solution.

In two seconds or less, Real-Time Prescription Benefit sends cost and coverage information directly from the prescription benefit plan, including prior authorization flags, prescription delivery options and up to five covered therapeutic alternatives. Learn more about this solution.

Electronic Prior Authorization lets healthcare teams easily obtain prior authorizations for specialty medications in real time, at the point of care, by bringing prior authorization insights, question sets and responses into clinical workflows. Learn more about this solution.

Specialty Patient Enrollment expedites the enrollment process by automating the gathering of clinical information for prescribers and staff, and with Specialty Medications Gateway, pharmacists retrieve clinical information directly from the patient’s electronic health record. Learn more about these solutions.

Providers are Eager to Improve the Specialty Medication Journey

Retail prices for medications prescribed to treat chronic conditions increased at more than three times the rate of general inflation in 2020. Plus, estimates hold that manufacturers will launch at least 50 new active substances every year through 2025, and most of these are likely to be specialty medications.

This explains, in part, why more prescribers and specialty pharmacists are choosing to adopt and use technological solutions for patient-specific benefit and cost information—so much so that we can point to jumps in adoption and usage across the range of solutions designed to expedite patient enrollment, retrieve clinical information, and streamline prior authorization.

  • Surescripts processed 8.2 million electronic prescriptions for specialty medications in the first five months of 2022—an 8% increase over the same period in 2021.
  • In the first five months of 2022 (compared to the same period last year), the number of prescribers enabled for Specialty Patient Enrollment increased by 24%, and the number of transactions for Specialty Medications Gateway increased by 418%.
  • As of May 2022, specialty pharmacists can use Specialty Medications Gateway to access patient information supplied by more than 200,000 prescribers nationwide.
  • Real-Time Prescription Benefit delivered 2.6 million responses to prescribers for specialty medications—an increase of 85% from January to May 2022 over the same period in 2021.
  • In one month alone (May 2022), prescribers used Real-Time Prescription Benefit to save patients an average of $534.74 per prescription for specialty medications.

And as of May 2022, one pharmacy—Accredo—surpassed 12,000 monthly Specialty Medications Gateway transactions.

“In caring for patients with complex diagnoses, specialty pharmacists must work with efficiency and quality,” said Katie Reeves, Senior Product Manager at Accredo. And an increasing number of prescribers and pharmacists are doing just that, to the benefit of their healthcare organizations and their patients.

Learn how we're helping to simplify specialty medication workflows, saving patients and those who care for them precious time.

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