In the United States, approximately 50 percent of pharmacy orders go unfulfilled. This results in two types of avoidable costs—the cost of drug inventory remaining on the pharmacy shelf and emergency or hospitalization costs for patients whose disease progresses due to poor medication access. From a healthcare provider’s standpoint, unfulfilled pharmacy orders also result in an undue burden for the clinical teams to build workarounds that make them focus less on what’s important – patient care. With a commitment to improve clinical care and create revenue for hospitals and health systems through specialty pharmacy programs, Clearway Health Solution is the answer to the conundrum for providers and patients.
“I choose to use Clearway Health’s specialty pharmacy over other pharmacies because my Pharmacy Liaison respects my privacy, my schedule and helps me understand the potential side effects that I may not be cognizant of,” a patient partnered with a Clearway Health Liaison explains. “And most of all, it’s efficient. I don’t have to make multiple calls, I don’t have to wait on hold ever and I’m always at home when my medicine is delivered to me,” they say. Clearway Health, renamed from Cornerstone Health Solutions, LLC, provides improved access to care and manages complex medication needs of the patient population. Born out of Boston Medical Center (BMC), the company works alongside hospitals and healthcare communities to build and power their specialty pharmacy program to boost care access and deliver personalized support to vulnerable patients, families, providers and care managers. Patients are enrolled into the specialty pharmacy program by the Clearway Health Pharmacy Liaisons through a handoff or referral from the provider. 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 have a direct impact on a health system’s quality metrics, patient outcomes, patient and provider satisfaction, financial performance and value-based care initiatives.
Creating Numerous Success Stories
Clearway Health is led by a stellar team of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Liaisons who impact the patient experience, clinical outcomes, care teams and more. Unlike conventional technology solution providers in healthcare, the company strives to proffer services consistently. A successful use case involves the Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) patients at a safety net, disproportionate share hospital (DSH). The patients enrolled in Clearway Health’s specialty pharmacy program experienced consistently superior adherence when receiving therapy from the health system’s internal specialty pharmacy than patients who had prescriptions filled elsewhere. Within 12 months, their CML molecular response rate increased from 50 to 76 percent!
“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,” Nicole Faucher, President of Clearway Health shares. “Ours is a patient-centered, clinically-focused and business-aware approach. We evolved from a need to solve clinical and financial challenges at BMC – an academic medical center, safety net hospital and disproportionate share hospital that provides care to a severely underserved patient population. Whether a hospital or health system is a rural community hospital, an urban safety net hospital or anything in between, our team is equipped to support them. Our perspective is different – growing from a need and not a business plan. The need and the mission matters,” adds Faucher.
Faucher shared a realization the Clearway Health team made early in a client partnership that is not uncommon across outpatient care settings. “As we were implementing the specialty pharmacy program, we asked questions to understand the amount of time spent by the oncology clinic staff to help patients understand their first fill for their oral oncolytics,” she said. “We realized that the clinic would block time on the Nurse Practitioner’s schedule to focus on patient education because they didn’t have enough staff to do this important work. The Nurse Practitioner would balance active patients in rooms, educate other patients and obtain insurance pre-authorizations. This balancing act created unnecessary burden for the Nurse Practitioners.” Clearway Health collaborated with them to take on the expanded patient education responsibilities as part of their specialty pharmacy program partnership. “In the end, they increased the number of appointments per day – allowing clinicians to return their focus to elevated patient care and creating critical revenue for the health system,” Faucher explained.
Not Just Tech, People are behind its Pharmacy Accelerator Services
Technology is critical for creating value-based care experiences and helping providers achieve their bottom lines. Clearway Health leverages technology to identify patients eligible for the specialty pharmacy programs and also enables bi-directional communication between Clearway Health Pharmacy Liaisons, the care team and the EHR they use. The technology drives efficiency by utilizing clinical data, claims data and referral data in order to inform clinical operations and improve patient outreach.
However, technology alone is not dependable to help a patient understand their disease and medication needs. The backbone of Clearway Health – powering its specialty pharmacy accelerator services – are its people!
Clearway Health will grow in a way that creates and connects meaningful services and solutions that is seamless and supportive of pharmacy stakeholders inside and outside the organization.
Technology helps the Clearway Health team to identify the patients who are eligible for the specialty pharmacy program. Technology powers the bi-directional communication between Clearway Health Pharmacy Liaisons and the care team and the EHR they use. And technology supports the fulfillment of prescriptions. But the backbone to Clearway Health’s specialty pharmacy accelerator service are its people.
“Being in a space that focused on how technology could impact clinicians and patients – where technology, screens and clicks become the path, or perceived obstacle, to care – has shaped my perspective,” Faucher explains, sharing about her work before coming to Clearway Health. “Our specialty pharmacy space is different. While we leverage technology and data, the technology and data aren’t the parts that accelerate the specialty pharmacy program nor do they delight providers and create exceptional patient experiences. Choosing to partner with Clearway Health allows us to put people first and create an elevated experience in an otherwise difficult time for patients and their families.”
Patient-centricity is their Second Name!
When a patient is diagnosed with a life-changing condition that requires specialty medication regimes, medication access and affordability often becomes a roadblock to their recovery. Clearway Health’s services put the patient first and works collaboratively with the clinical care team, the patient and their caregivers to support the patients’ understanding of their condition, how important it is to adhere to their treatment and ensure access to their medication along their journey to health and healing. “Healthcare can be full of sludge. There is so much that slows us down and is created by unnecessary hoops and obstacles. Removing barriers of access to care has always been best resolved by people advocating and acting on patients’ behalf – to get their medications, help them achieve adherence and make it as easy as possible,” says Faucher.
Moreover, with people at the heart of this service, Clearway Health follows its ‘High Five’ values that sum up its existence as well as the experiences and value-proposition to their clients and the patients they serve. “Our Clearway Health team begins by choosing an optimistic view, having innate curiosity, collaborating with brilliance and expertise, bringing out the best in every stakeholder and respecting others and their value creation,” Faucher elaborates. “As a result, our clients experience a genuine approach to partnership, feel heard through conversations, understand partnership through an honest voice, achieve exponential growth in patient outcomes and revenue and realize the value of our collaboration.”
Change is certain as far as the specialty pharmacy landscape is concerned. The levels of service of pharmacies in local neighborhoods and the delivery of therapies is changing. Looking to the future, Clearway Health plans to continue its quest to expand its services and nurture its existing client partnerships. “Clearway Health will grow in a way that creates and connects meaningful services and solutions that are seamless and supportive of pharmacy stakeholders inside and outside the organization,” Faucher expresses. “Clearway Health’s mindset is similar to many progressive health systems – this type of transformation can’t happen alone. We’ll continue to seek partners – industry associations, consulting groups, pharmacy delivery models – to influence together how this critical part of healthcare continues to change.”