April 20, 2021 Shields Health Solutions

Study Shows Shields Health Solutions Integrated Specialty Pharmacy Model Significantly Reduces Total Cost of Care

Shields' integrated pharmacy model reduced the cost of care by 13 percent and reduced the administrative burden on prescribers and staff

BOSTON, April 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Shields Health Solutions (Shields), the leading health system specialty pharmacy integrator, announced today the results of a joint study with Optum Advisory Services that showed Shields-affiliated specialty pharmacies reduced the total cost of care for patients by 13 percent compared to a national cohort. Overall, Shields-affiliated health systems achieved an 84 patient Net Promoter Score (NPS) – the healthcare industry average NPS in 2020 was 27 – and reduced the administrative burden on prescribers and their staff. Shields shared the full results of the study in a poster presentation at the 2021 AMCP Meeting.

Currently, approximately 2.2 percent of the population uses specialty medications, but they accounted for an estimated 50 percent of the nation’s drug spending in 2020. To gain a better understanding of the market and identify successful strategies for reducing the total cost of care, Shields partnered with Optum Advisory Services in 2019 to measure the patient benefits of seeking care at a Shields-affiliated health system. Specifically, they sought to determine if the Shields integrated specialty pharmacy model reduced total healthcare costs – including pharmacy and medical benefit claims – and identify the specific drivers that lowered costs. It marks the first study to holistically examine if a network of integrated specialty pharmacy care models can reduce overall healthcare costs for specialty patients.

“The Shields model is built around the fact that specialty patient care requires a dedicated support team that includes the specialty physician, primary care doctor, nurses and specialty pharmacist to treat the patient effectively,” said Brian S. Smith, Pharm.D., Chief Pharmacy Officer at Shields. “Cost of care is a tremendous barrier for this complex patient population, which can be burdened by therapies with six-figure price tags and often experience a high rate of complications including hospital admission and ER visits. By supporting them with specialty pharmacy liaisons and clinical pharmacists that can advocate for them, we have proven that we can improve quality and lower the overall cost of care.”

The study followed Medicare Advantage patients with health plan coverage from 2018 to 2019 and organized the patients into the following groups:

  • Shield Health Solutions patients: Filled prescriptions at a Shields-affiliated pharmacy and have a doctor supported by Shields Pharmacists and liaisons using TelemetryRx, Shields’ proprietary software that provides a seamless end-to-end workflow solution and patient CRM managed via a single platform
  • Network benchmark patients: Did not have a prescriber supported by Shields pharmacists and liaisons utilizing TelemetryRx, nor did they fill specialty medication at a Shields-affiliated pharmacy.

Integrated specialty programs with health system specialty pharmacies have demonstrated significant clinical and financial value to patients. That includes the integrated model used by Shields and Excelera, a subsidiary of Shields Health Solutions and the company behind the Excelera Network, a nationwide network of leading health systems and academic medical centers with specialty pharmacies. A peer review study publication is planned for release in the coming months, produced in conjunction with Medical School faculty partners.

Shields’ poster presentation will be available to view during the virtual AMCP Meeting from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 13 and Wednesday, April 14. You can view the results of our joint study here.

About Shields Health Solutions

At Shields, improving lives and elevating performance are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why more health system leaders trust Shields to help them elevate and scale clinical, operational and financial performance. Not just within specialty pharmacy, but throughout the entire health system. Working alongside your team, Shields leverages its proven collaborative care model; integrated care technologies; and dedicated teams to produce the superior outcomes your patients deserve and the financial results your health system demands. Together, we elevate performance where it matters most — expanding payer and drug access; improving therapy management and care coordination; delivering unsurpassed patient experiences; and generating the net operating income you need to accelerate growth. Learn more about how Shields elevates outcomes and performance at shieldshealthsolutions.com.