Today’s medical practices are busier than ever. The Physicians Foundation recently surveyed physicians in the United States and found that about 80% described themselves as being at full capacity or overextended. They also found that an average of 23% of physician time is spent on non-clinical paperwork—more than eleven hours a week.1 This work affects not only the clinical staff; it overflows onto the administrative personnel, who handle innumerable essential tasks each day in the office.
One of the most time-consuming of these tasks is fulfilling specialty medications.
For this article, we sat down with Nana Agyemang, Specialty Medication Care Liaison from Northern New Jersey Pulmonary Associates to gain insight into how Veradigm AccelRx has helped transform his daily workload.
Q: Nana, why don’t you start by telling us: What is your role in the practice?
I am the Specialty Medication Care Liaison. In addition to many other tasks, I handle all the specialty medication requests. They’re funneled through me to expedite the back-office paperwork. We collaborate with insurance companies and manufacturers to get medications filled for patients.
Even though I am the Specialty Medication Care Liaison, this is only a fraction of the responsibilities I have. I also have a lot of other tasks such as checking in patients, talking with patients about appointments, that sort of thing. I typically handle specialty medications one day per week.
Q: Before you started using AccelRx, what was the specialty medication fulfillment process like?
Everything was manual, and I would have to be on the phone for countless hours. I was spending a lot more time on the phone because I had to talk with the insurance companies to get all the required authorizations. I had to figure out by myself who the right person was to talk to and which phone numbers to call—it was very time consuming.
Before, I had a lot of paperwork to handle. I had to keep a more intensive filing system to organize all the patients’ documents. Because I was spending so much time on fulfilling specialty medications, it was more difficult for me to keep up with my other tasks.
A couple years ago, we had concerns with the practice growing larger and whether we’d be able to keep up with all the specialty medications we had to fulfill. We decided to bring on AccelRx to help with some of the extra work.
Q: How has AccelRx helped you improve your daily workload?
AccelRx has helped in so many ways.
It’s taken some of the more time-consuming steps away. For example, AccelRx has helped by speaking with the insurance companies on our behalf to figure out how the medication is going to be approved. The AccelRx team knows what departments and agents to contact to expedite prior authorizations for our patients. Before, I had to find the phone numbers for the right people to collaborate with to get these things done.
Now, I can onboard patients into the portal and then add all their information based on which therapy they’re getting, their demographics, etc. Then, while I’m working on other things, the AccelRx team is helping take care of getting those prior authorizations. That allows me to focus on my other tasks.
If there are any issues, AccelRx mediates those for me. AccelRx assists with letters to communicate the patient’s medical necessity and any appeals processes. If we provide the appropriate clinical supporting documentation, the AccelRx team goes above and beyond in helping with the appeals process.
Q: What are some of your favorite features about AccelRx?
The AccelRx portal is extremely helpful. I love the enrollment feature because it helps streamline the legwork we have to do. So, when I put in medical insurance information for a patient, it syncs with the pharmacy benefit information for that patient without me having to do any additional inputs. The beauty of the portal is that it’s one-click: when a patient is up for medication renewal, it makes things flow so easily.
In all the hustle and bustle, it helps streamline the process and keep things moving forward so I can concentrate on other things. It helps stay me on track with whatever I must do to get the medications fulfilled, so I don’t skip any steps.
Also, the customer service at AccelRx is excellent. I love that they reply in a timely fashion with updates to forms. Sometimes, when I don’t see something in the portal as it should be, customer service reps forward my concern to IT and they are able to assist me with my issue.
Q: Have you experienced improvements in patient care because of AccelRx?
The main goal for me, with my patients, is to make things easy for them. Many of them are seniors and they have enough to worry about. AccelRx has helped me confidently tell my patients that we’re going to do our best to ensure that any communications we do on their behalf, we’re going to take care of that for them.
I know patients are receiving their medications quicker and easier, which makes me happy.
The Future of Specialty Medications
Nana’s story is not unlike those from many other busy physicians’ practices all over the United States. Specialty medications have become the fastest-growing, largest segment of the total pharmaceutical market in the United States today. By 2023, it is projected that 65% of new drug launches will be specialty therapies.2 That means fulfilling specialty medications will require more and more time from practices’ administrative staff.
Veradigm AccelRx delivers an automated and comprehensive solution to help you streamline specialty medication fulfillment for your patients. Click here to learn more about how AccelRx can help your practice expedite specialty medication fulfillment.
- Hawkins M. 2018 Survey of America’s Physicians Practice Patterns & Perspectives. 2018. September, 2018. https://physiciansfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/physicians-survey-results-final-2018.pdf.
- Raper A, PhD. Specialty Medications: Hope for Patients, Hurdle for Healthcare. Cover my Meds. Updated March 22, 2021. Accessed May 8, 2021, https://insights.covermymeds.com/healthcare-technology/specialty-therapy/specialty-medications-hope-for-patients-hurdle-for-healthcare.