Marking progress since Asembia 2021
At industry events, there are the discussions you hear inside of sessions, and there are also the discussions that take place outside of sessions. During the October 2021 Asembia event, we heard several common themes among attendees, clients, prospects and vendors:
- Balancing digital innovation and the personal touch to drive engagement
- Shifting models from in-office to in-home care to increase access
- Leveraging ePrescriptions and nondispensing pharmacies to address electronic health record (EHR) challenges
- Meeting today’s health equity needs to improve service for all patients
As we look forward to Asembia in May of 2022, we anticipate much progress in addressing these industry challenges. Let’s expand on these topics to get you ahead of the curve.
Balancing digital innovation and the personal touch
Asembia attendees pointed out that the efficiencies of technology cannot be detrimental to the patient and provider experience. We agree! As a leading provider of hub reimbursement support, Labcorp Patient Access Solutions continues to innovate and invest in technology with a focus on supporting the personal touch. Our goal is to leverage industry-leading technology to empower our experts.
In recent months, we have:
- Deployed our Xcellerate® Access Intelligence Dashboard (XAID)
- Launched our comprehensive automated copay support functionality
- Greatly enhanced our pharmacy and medical electronic benefit investigation (eBV) and electronic prior authorization (ePA) solutions
And we aren’t stopping there. Labcorp Patient Access Solutions continually incorporates innovations that provide stakeholders with the flexibility to interact with manufacturer programs in a streamlined manner, driving efficiencies while ensuring service excellence. These innovations stem from the Labcorp Technology Roadmap. Our overarching goal is to thoughtfully leverage tools such as artifical intelligence (AI) and robotic processing automation (RPA) to drive efficiency while enabling our staff to spend more time on human interaction.
The Labcorp Technology Roadmap
Our Roadmap is informed by industry trends and the competitive landscape, and our senior management team reviews and prioritizes the plan on a quarterly basis. We then architect, implement and roll out approved technology capabilities to our clients.
In recent years, we have implemented:
- Optical character recognition (OCR)
- ePA via an HCP-facing web portal
- Texting and secure messaging
- Soft credit checks
- eEligibility/payer discovery
- MyEasyConsent™ (standalone portal for patient consent via electronic signature)
In addition, we have successfully piloted chatbot functionality. We are also piloting eBV functionality, invoking an automated digital assistant to place a call for additional benefit information where eBVs have not provided a complete result.
Finally, we have launched our XAID analytics platform―a comprehensive, highly configurable data analytics platform that gives clients instant access to their program data, with the added benefit of AI technology called “Ask Data.”
Moving forward, our Roadmap focuses on three vital areas:
- Increased EHR integration
- Omnichannel patient engagement
- Expanded core business offerings
Increased EHR integration: Throughout 2022, our Roadmap includes several launches in the EHR space, expanding our reach to more than 400 EHR platforms―including a majority of the top providers, such as Epic and Allscripts.
This critical capability will enable us as well as our clients to offer tailored messaging around our available hub reimbursement services. We will be able to deliver drug-specific marketing messages to nearly 85% of the physician market at the point of prescribing within the EHR. This capability will enhance visibility into EHR data so that we can provide meaningful assistance to more patients. Clients will gain an enhanced view of the patient journey.
Omnichannel patient engagement: To improve patient experience and outcomes, we are deploying several omnichannel options that deliver personalized support for patients. This approach will break through onboarding and adherence barriers―guided by AI automation.
Expanded core business offerings: Our Roadmap includes several 2022 offerings that will increase our services to global markets. Offerings will include a nearshore staffing model plus reimbursement hubs serving patients and providers in Pan-Asian and Latin American markets. We are also adding third-party logistics (3PL) capability, medical assignment of benefits (AOB) pharmacy support for smaller/independent pharmacies, nondispensing pharmacy solutions and key integrations for our home health care application. Contact us to learn more.
Shifting models from in-office to in-home care
With more patients seeking enhanced at-home treatment options, we fielded questions from Asembia attendees on Labcorp support for this decentralized patient care model. With our acquisition of GlobalCare in 2020 (now known as Mobile Clinical Services or MCS), we have deployed several mobile phlebotomy programs to support in-home lab draws for patients. This fully integrated support is significant as new-to-market products increasingly carry companion or complementary diagnostic components.
In addition, we recently launched our snapClinical® desktop and mobile applications to provide a streamlined, fully integrated mobile health request service accessible to patients and providers in the clinical and commercial space. To date, we have conducted over 120,000 in-home visits and are working on expanding this service nationally. Contact us for more information on in-home care models.
Leveraging ePrescriptions and nondispensing pharmacies
Many conversations at Asembia focused on the challenge surrounding ePrescriptions―a principal user function that most EHR platforms provide. Specifically, ePrescribing for specialty therapies, most of which require special care and processing, is not factored into most EHR user interfaces. Examples include:
- Alerting prescribers that the therapy selected is a limited-distribution product and can only be dispensed from a set number of specialty pharmacies
- Alerting prescribers that a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) product can only be distributed from a REMS-certified pharmacy
Without these alerts, ePrescriptions for specialty products are often sent to the provider’s or patient’s preferred pharmacy, which may not be able to dispense. The result is high script abandonment.
What role could a nondispensing pharmacy play? A provider could route an ePrescription to a licensed nondispensing pharmacy―controlled by a hub services provider―instead of directly to a specialty pharmacy. The benefit is twofold: it ensures the chain of custody for the ePrescription, and it allows the contracted hub servicer to perform benefit verification services determining where the ePrescription should go. However, many challenges remain:
- The provider would have to be educated on this process before prescribing, which is a massive lift, especially for high-volume products
- This process would not solve instances where providers must route all prescriptions through hospital-owned pharmacies
- The nondispensing pharmacy cannot “push” the ePrescription to another pharmacy. Instead, the receiving pharmacy would have to “pull” the ePrescription from the nondispensing pharmacy. Even then, both the nondispensing pharmacy and the receiving pharmacy would need to have that software functionality enabled
In short, the nondispensing pharmacy model can solve some problems, but it is certainly not a catch-all solution. Perhaps a more promising avenue to address EHR ePrescribing challenges is to deploy support tools and messaging for specialty products directly within the EHR at the point of prescribing. This approach could include specialty product workflows guiding providers through the proper channels. It might also include marketing messages or alerts to preclude providers from sending an ePrescription to a pharmacy that could likely not dispense. An example would be guidance to address the issues surrounding limited distribution or REMS products.
Similar to the nondispensing model, the messaging avenue contains inherent challenges. With hundreds of EHR platforms on the market, the ability to pull these levers varies significantly from one EHR to another. Educating providers is another vital issue, as in the nondispensing pharmacy model; many EHR platforms require providers to “opt in” for these functionalities.
Labcorp Patient Access Solutions offers several services enabling clients to impact the ePrescribing process for their products within EHR platforms. Contact us to learn more.
Meeting today’s health equity needs
As an industry, we need to act inclusively to address gaps that lead to inequities within health care, and data will play a critical role as we harness technology to improve equity. There are many barriers preventing patients from being successful in starting and staying on therapy. Using our robust patient datasets, Labcorp addresses these barriers and inequities to drive improved outcomes. We optimize health outcomes by understanding and proactively addressing the needs of each patient and their treatment journey from beginning to end.
Labcorp has tools and technology that increase access and speed to care, which can be customized for your patients. Moving forward, specialty pharmacies will deliver care and prescriptions in new ways, with a keen eye toward health equity. We can bolster access for patients who live in “pharmacy deserts” by using innovative, results-oriented program designs.
The bottom line
Moving toward Asembia 2022, don’t lose your momentum, as the commercial value of your product portfolio is at stake. Success requires deep experience, continual innovation and a meticulous focus on the patient throughout the product life cycle.
We can help. Whether your program is large or small volume, contact us for game-changing market access strategies that include forward-thinking specialty pharmacy services. We have a passion for meeting every patient’s needs―because the next person we help may be someone we love.
Covance is now Labcorp Drug Development, offering Patient Access Solutions, including specialty pharmacy programs.