Specialty medications are rapidly becoming one of the largest cost areas in pharmacy spend, amounting to nearly 55% of total healthcare spending today. We can expect this hockey stick growth to continue. 250+ specialty drugs are expected to launch over the next 5 years, which could contribute to billions in new expenditures.
Although new specialty drugs offer life-changing promises for patients, their price tags often put specialty pharmacies in a difficult position. Often, specialty pharmacy teams are expected to “do more with less” as they balance cost pressures with the desire to provide patients with essential therapies.
So, how can specialty pharmacies keep up with rising costs and still provide high-quality care? The right tools are key.
Our TherigySTM experts recently participated in a panel discussion with the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP) to explore this topic. They shared several tips for improving the bottom line, including:
- To reduce inefficiency, prioritize interoperability: Disparate systems can create costly inefficiencies. For example, each duplicate record can cost health systems nearly $100 in unnecessary administrative overhead. The most successful specialty pharmacies have dispensing systems, therapy management platforms, and EHRs all working in harmony.
- Optimize patient communication: It can often take 3-5 calls to get hold of a specialty patient. Specialty pharmacies can significantly reduce this communication gap by automating some patient communication and reaching out via text, which is more user-friendly. It’s a win-win for all: Patients can communicate better with specialty pharmacy teams, improving treatment adherence. Meanwhile, specialty teams are more efficient, giving them more time to focus on patient care.
- Empower patients with the right financial assistance tools: Rising drug costs often mean more prior authorization and financial assistance paperwork—a potential treatment barrier for patients. Specialty pharmacies must have ready-to-use tools to help manage authorizations, offer cost-effective care options, and monitor treatment adherence.
Banner Health’s director of specialty and clinical services then brought these tips to life, demonstrating why the innovative TherigySTM platform is essential to its therapy management and specialty pharmacy growth. By partnering with the CPS team, Banner Health’s specialty pharmacy:
- Increased efficiency to save $3.5 million in 2022
- Enhanced patient care, finding patients $137 million in financial assistance
The result? An improved bottom line and happier, healthier patients.
How could technology improve your specialty pharmacy performance?