PHARMACY

J&J showcases new diabetes approach

BY Michael Johnsen

The front-end opportunity surrounding patients with diabetes is significant. Diabetes patients are spending between $1,000 and $2,500 each year on diabetes supplies alone, noted Sally Manoufar, senior manager health and wellness at Johnson & Johnson, during a recent GMDC webcast. According to Johnson & Johnson research, the front-end basket of a diabetes patient is five times larger than that of a patient who doesn’t have diabetes.

(To view the full ECRM Report, click here.)

Johnson & Johnson recently showcased their new approach to helping retailers serve their diabetes patients across the entire healthcare ecosystem at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Total Store Expo in Boston last month. The company featured the Diabetes Collaboration Zone, where a cross-functional team armed with a wide range of expertise — from product knowledge, technology and design to behavioral science — met with retailers to discuss opportunities to better serve the diabetes patient.

“We believe that Johnson & Johnson is optimally positioned to address the diabetes challenge with the breadth and scale of our solutions to meet patient, consumer and healthcare provider needs,” said Ty Lee, VP Americas, Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies. “However, no one enterprise can tackle this epidemic alone. We hope to create an environment where our industry can co-create solutions to best deliver meaningful support, with the goal of improved health outcomes to people living with diabetes.”

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PHARMACY

Leveraging data to increase adherence rates, drive revenue and improve patient outcomes

BY David Salazar

Ateb’s recent announcement that more than a million patients were enrolled and having their medications actively managed via its Time My Meds medication synchronization platform is big news, but the company isn’t about to rest on its laurels. Rather, Ateb is looking to use what it has learned from these patients to help pharmacies improve both their business and their patients’ outcomes.

(To view the full Special Report, click here.)

“With the data we’ve ascertained from a million patients enrolled in our med sync program, we can start helping to identify and stratify the patients more effectively by using technology to keep patients adherent and improve pharmacy business, for example, by looking at DIR fees and remuneration issues,” Ateb president and CEO Frank Sheppard told Drug Store News.

Among the challenges facing most pharmacies identified by Ateb’s Data Analytics Team is an issue around patient retention. Sheppard said that at the beginning of a given year, the average pharmacy has a base of about 3,500 patients, one-third of whom will become inactive over the course of the year. At the same time, the pharmacy will serve a similar number of new patients, two-thirds of whom will not be retained by the pharmacy.

“Pharmacy is overlooking their opportunity with patient retention and patient management to pick up a lot of fills,” Sheppard said. “That is a huge opportunity for the pharmacies to engage, attract and build their business with the new patients they’re seeing.”

In order to help pharmacies retain the patients they have, while growing their base through retention of new customers, Ateb has put the appointment-based model at the center of its solutions, which begins with Time My Meds. But Sheppard notes that “the appointment-based model is broader than just med sync,” adding, “it focuses on identifying patients for whom a high-touch pharmacy intervention can help the patient achieve a better health outcome.”

Ateb’s strategic approach is to develop and provide pharmacy the tools and processes to become a vital resource in delivering affordable and effective patient disease management.

Sheppard pointed to Ateb’s proactive refill reminders and outbound notification calls to patients who have begun a new chronic therapy as a key touchpoint, adding a level of personalization and increasing the likelihood that a patient remains adherent by effectively a factor of two. With 11,000 people turning 65 years old every day, an age group which fills more than twice as many scripts per year, the potential influx of patients with chronic conditions could bring more of these opportunities to the pharmacy. Plus this age group also may be eligible for such services as vaccinations, medication therapy management and point-of-care testing. With Ateb’s chronic care management programs, Ateb is well-positioned to be their strategic partner in providing care, while managing quality measures tied to reimbursements.

Ateb’s Patient Management Access Portal, or PMAP, is a single platform featuring a dashboard that illustrates a pharmacy partner’s performance on such quality metrics as Medicare Star ratings measures and EQuIPP ratings, offering actionable solutions to help maximize their reimbursements. It also allows access to such platforms as iMedicare for comparison of Medicare Part D plans.

With 1-in-5 Medicare patients on average being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, Ateb is the bridge to connect its pharmacy partners to collaborate with hospitals in providing transitional care for recently discharged patients to prevent hospital readmissions and reduce Medicare readmission penalties, which are projected to cost hospitals $528 million in 2017.

Ateb also is working with its partners to release Connected For Life, an integrated smart-phone app built around patient medication management that focuses on bidirectional interaction between pharmacy and patient, enabling the entire healthcare team to track and manage the patient’s health.

Additionally, the company has two dedicated teams to support its pharmacy partners to deploy Ateb’s solutions — a move that works to make Ateb a strategic partner.

“We’re dedicating our time and effort, not just to analytics for engaging patients, but also to the blocking and tackling it takes to make patients feel most comfortable with what a pharmacy is doing,” Sheppard said. “Sometimes the challenge is starting the conversation, and we continue to innovate and implement solutions to make it a seamless effort for the pharmacy team.”

ATEB

HQ: Raleigh, N.C.

Founded: 1992

President and CEO: Frank Sheppard

Specialty: Patient engagement solutions, med sync

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PHARMACY

Innovation works to enable patient-facing care through efficiency, inventory solutions

BY David Salazar

Between its recently announced partnership with IMA North America and its Pharmacy Operations Symposium, held in April in concert with Binghamton University’s Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE) — Innovation has had a busy year. And according to EVP global business development Doyle Jensen, there are numerous new projects that are ongoing at Innovation, as the company is expanding its solutions to help increase pharmacy efficiency, accuracy and inventory management.

(To view the full Special Report, click here.)

Two of Innovation’s emerging solutions are the result of a partnership with one of the largest automation providers in Europe to bring widely utilized technology in two areas: digital shelving with robotic back-end fulfillment and an entirely new will-call experience. Jensen describes the first area as “new technology around merchandising that allows for digital shelving with back-end automated delivery of the product to the customer,” a solution that would be new to the United States. Jensen said that beyond capitalizing on its appeal to tech-savvy shoppers, the solution will be able to provide an “endless aisle” that goes beyond the brick-and-mortar store to allow for in-store purchases of items from a company’s website.

“If you have a digital representation of what you have in the store but you also have add-ons saying, ‘We have these products in the same category that can be shipped to you by tomorrow,’ you also have a point-of-sale system so you’re able to capture the sale,” Jensen said. “In the DME area, it would allow stores to have a full offering of DME, which is currently not practical when you have space constraints or don’t know what’s going to move.”

Digital shelving also would have benefits for pharmacy owners, who could potentially use demand-based pricing for popular items — say allergy relief in the spring — and CPG companies looking to test the impact of new packaging with reduced expense, as the package would be represented digitally. The technology also would enable pharmacy owners “to manage merchandising at a level that never was economically viable because it all had to be done physically, and it enables them in a retail format to have some of the advantages that an online format has.”

In addition to the digital shelving, Innovation also is currently collaborating with industry leaders in some of the largest chains in the United States to bring a will-call solution to market that would allow for access to prescriptions via kiosk and drive-through, while also making it available behind the counter and reducing will-call’s physical footprint.

“It creates a very efficient method to store scripts for pickup,” Jensen said. “It minimizes the space it takes to store them, and it’s a very efficient process to find the prescription. … [And] it distributes the script to those points when it’s requested.”

The prescriptions are stored centrally in the device, and Jensen said it has the potential to “increase access, reduce waiting times and add a level of security and control while improving efficiency behind the counter in the pharmacy, as well.”

And to further increase efficiency beyond the counter, Innovation is currently working on a new light-directed technology to improve production in retail pharmacies and high volume, central fill or mail-order pharmacies. The product line, called Light-Way, works to help pharmacy staff quickly identify where inventory or completed orders should be placed or retrieved during production.

“We believe it will improve the efficiency of the production process itself,” he said. “It will greatly reduce the time required for inventory put-away and for inventory picking for script production, and it will guide users for the correct placement and picking of inventory and completed prescriptions to make sure errors aren’t made.”

The potential workflow impacts of Innovation’s plans, like its solutions, Jensen said, “are centered around providing the technology that drives patient convenience and enables patient-facing care.”

INNOVATION

HQ: Johnson City, N.Y.

Founded: 1974

CEO: Mary Reno

Specialty: Automation

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