Diagnosis of a condition that requires specialty medication can be overwhelming for patients. Concerns may range from side effects to drug administration to the financial impact of treatment. Yet many patients, including those who have experienced diagnosis delays, may be anxious to begin treatment as quickly as possible.
While beginning a specialty medication is certainly complex, it doesn’t mean the process should be prolonged.
When a prescription for a new specialty medication is received from a patient or their provider, Accredo pharmacy staff completes a review to gather any information needed to ensure patient safety, clinical appropriateness, and coverage. In many cases, a prior authorization from the payer is required.
We know that a provider’s time is best served caring for patients, not managing through a web of administrative processes. That is why the majority of prior authorizations processed by Accredo happen electronically to save time for both the provider and patient. Our tools are designed to be more efficient, with a single point of contact for physicians to interact with our team.
And yet, Accredo continues to improve the specialty prescribing process. In July 2020, we partnered with Surescripts to assess the impact of advanced technology across the specialty prescribing and fulfillment process.
A Surescripts’ survey found that on an average day, 79% of specialty pharmacists seek clinical information from providers at least three times, and 39% of specialty pharmacists reach out five times or more.
Introducing automation into the prescribing process allows important data to be sent securely from the electronic health record (EHR) to Accredo, with no action needed from the prescriber. With this process, we saw a 44% reduction in calls to prescribers’ offices related to missing clinical data.
Ultimately, this automation decreased turnaround time to complete the prescription process by nearly two days and helps get patients started on therapy in a safe and timely manner.
This automation also means Accredo pharmacists and nurses have more time to counsel each patient or caregiver to encourage appropriate medication use, promote realistic therapy expectations, help patients manage or minimize expected adverse effects, and encourage compliance. Our pharmacists explain the medication and its storage, adverse effects, precautions, dosing parameters, and instructions for use. In addition, they discuss the importance of keeping scheduled physician appointments. This counseling is often very specific by drug, addressing the various nuances and complexities associated with specialty drug use.
While the process of beginning a specialty medication is much more complex than a traditional medication, Accredo helps patients quickly and successfully begin – and stay on – their treatment.