Specialty pharmacy programs create revenue, improve care

With some hospitals citing annual losses in the billions and cutting jobs to stay afloat, it’s clear that we’re in a time of great hardship for many healthcare organizations.

To keep these critical community partners out of the red, it’s time for services that create new and reliable revenue streams -- and to create them in time to make a difference.

Boston Medical Center turns to specialty pharmacy; founds Clearway Health

Boston Medical Center (BMC) set out on its specialty pharmacy journey more than eight years ago. BMC’s mission is driven by a commitment to care for all people, regardless of their ability to pay, and to provide programs and services that enhance overall health. As a safety net and disproportionate share hospital, BMC’s 340B eligibility provides the opportunity to stretch limited financial resources to better serve their community. BMC set out to build a specialty pharmacy program to improve access to care, drive increased revenue and reinvest into community programs, such as the country’s first hospital-run preventive food pantry and a rooftop garden to address nutrition-related illness and under-nutrition for low-income patients.

The time was right for BMC to create a specialty pharmacy program that would not only give back to the community, but would recharge their financial situation.

“Transformative therapies were emerging and more drugs were eligible for 340B. We saw an opportunity to achieve a change in our financial performance,” said Alastair Bell, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Chief Operating Officer, BMC Health System in a recent Becker’s webinar. “We went from focusing on capturing large volumes of prescriptions to a much more targeted program with specific patients, doctors and therapies to drive our investment in specialty pharmacy at BMC and then ultimately, to help other health systems realize this value, we founded Clearway Health.”

Specialty Pharmacy Program Acceleration Pays Off

Clearway Health partners with hospitals and health systems to build, develop and operate their own specialty pharmacy program, improve access to care and provide personalized support to vulnerable patients, families, providers and care managers to eliminate barriers and ensure medications are received on time.

“When hospitals and health systems choose to partner with Clearway Health, they choose a partner who has experienced and solved the same challenges they face. Ours is a patient-centered, clinically-focused and business-aware approach,” said Nicole Faucher, President at Clearway Health.

And this approach is paying off for Clearway Health’s clients – both financially and clinically. One academic medical center working with Clearway Health with an established 340B program achieved $60 million in specialty pharmacy revenue growth in six months. On the clinical side, a safety net hospital exceeded industry and community benchmarks for medication adherence – jumping from 60% to 95% in less than 12 months.

The Clearway Health team is embedded in each ambulatory clinic, works alongside the providers and the care teams and supports the patients through their care journey. Patients benefit from Clearway Health’s high-touch engagement, regardless if their course of treatment ranges from a few months or ongoing disease maintenance such as Hepatitis C or HIV, respectively. The Pharmacy Liaisons collaborate with providers and staff to handle administrative and counseling functions, providing clinicians more time to focus on who matters most. The contributions of a high-functioning specialty pharmacy program to a health system are material to quality metrics, patient outcomes, patient and provider satisfaction, financial performance and value-based care initiatives.

For more information, visit www.clearwayhealth.com.

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