PHARMACY

Connecting the continuum

BY Sandra Levy

With pharmacies fiercely competing for patients’ business and loyalty, McKesson has taken extensive measures to make sure that independent pharmacies don’t lag behind in technology.

McKesson Prescription Technology Solutions president Nathan Mott said the company has created a broad and deep network throughout the continuum of care. “The technology connects pharmacy to pharmaceutical manufacturers, payers and providers, which ultimately helps patients get the medicines they need to lead healthier lives,” he said. “We’re helping pharmacies make sure the patient gets on the best therapy, and this helps to start the transition for pharmacy from a dispensing only model to one helping to provide more clinical capabilities,”

McKesson’s recent acquisition of CoverMyMeds, a leader in healthcare technology, including electronic prior authorization and real-time benefit check, enables pharmacies to connect to more than 700,000 doctors, large pharma manufacturers and the majority of payers within their pharmacy workflow. Mott said that the impetus behind the acquisition was to build out McKesson’s network with providers and facilitate better communication between providers and pharmacists.

“Those two stakeholders are closest to the patient, and most familiar with the diagnoses and different therapies that are available,” Mott said.

Mott pointed out that some insurance plans may not cover a therapy or may require a prior authorization because of step therapy or quantity criteria. “We have now the capability to seamlessly and electronically communicate between the doctor, pharmacy and payer to make sure all stakeholders are making the most appropriate clinical therapy decisions for that patient,” he said. “We automate as much as we can to help patients get on the therapy as quickly as possible.”

Through RelayHealth Pharmacy Solutions, McKesson helps to process claims between the pharmacy and payers. “Last year, we helped facilitate over 20 billion transactions that ensures the communication between pharmacy and payers is seamless, and the pharmacy gets reimbursed appropriately for the care they’re delivering,” Mott said.

Independent pharmacists also are tasked with helping patients get affordable medicines. “We work with the pharmacy, manufacturers and payers to ensure we get patients on therapy and, in a lot of cases, help them drive down their out-of-pocket costs,” Mott said. “We save patients a significant amount of money to ultimately get them over that financial hurdle and get them on therapy.”

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