September 1, 2021 Matthew Lynch

Specialty Pharmacy Is Growing… And So Are We

Specialty pharmacy is growing, as is Shields Health Solutions and the increasing number of partners and patients we serve around the country. In this blog, we take a look at where Shields is hiring and why, the importance of retaining talent, and how the growth of our company is – and will always be – centered around providing the best care possible.

Specialty pharmacy continues to grow rapidly, accelerated by the need for healthcare professionals to take care of a rising specialty patient population and the increasing number of hospitals and health systems who are building and enhancing their own specialty pharmacies.

As the industry expands, so does the number of patients who need services like the ones we provide at Shields Health Solutions. Shields is the premier specialty pharmacy accelerator in the country that partners with more than 70 health systems – and more than 850 hospitals – to elevate the outcomes of their patients.

This year alone, we have enrolled 20,000 new patients into our integrated health care model – all while adding six new health system partners to our growing portfolio. Furthermore, a number of disease states are growing and entering into the specialty pharmacy world. We have seen dramatic increases in the spaces of neurology, dermatology, fertility, psychiatry, and COPD.

The ever-increasing growth and need for specialty pharmacy shows in the 1,000+ employees Shields has hired since the beginning of 2020, including nearly 600 new hires since the start of 2021. The primary reason for that growth is the increasing number of patients who deserve the best outcomes possible.

“We are hiring at a record pace, not only because the company is growing, but because we know our patient-centered care model works,” Charlene Naumann, Vice President of Talent, said. “Our partners’ patients are at the center of everything we do, and our patient-facing employees are vital to delivering the care and outcomes they deserve.”

Shields has hired more than 100 patient support advocates (PSAs) who provide patient care by removing the barriers to medication access. They work tirelessly with insurance companies and clinicians to facilitate approvals of medications through prior authorizations. In addition, PSAs work directly with the patients to adjudicate claims, refill medications and increase adherence – all leading to better health outcomes at a lower cost.

PSAs are based in our Phoenix office and are part of our newly-created Patient Engagement Center, which actively partners with health systems to engage with patients on their refill needs. The Patient Engagement Center currently supports four partners with plans to expand to others in the near future.

At UCHealth and UMass, the Patient Engagement Center helped refill more than 2,000 medications for the month of July (94 a day); and at Montefiore, wait time on calls has been reduced from more than three minutes to just 14 seconds.

Shields has also added more than 200 pharmacy liaisons and pharmacy technicians. Liaisons and technicians provide integrated support to patients and pharmacists by providing a hands-on approach to total quality patient care.

In addition, Shields promotes a culture of growth and development among its employees, who believe in our mission of putting the patient first. Due to the success and dedication of our employees, forty percent of our hires are promotions or internal transfers. That is one of the many reasons that Shields is an official Great Place To Work®!

Our recent hiring surge points to our growing portfolio of world-class partners around the country as the need for a holistic specialty pharmacy solution increases. But most importantly, it proves that we are staying true to our mission of caring for our partners’ patients, delivering the best care possible to those who need it most.