Specialty Service Programs: Gearing up for Next Generation Technologies - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Specialty Service Programs: Gearing up for Next Generation Technologies


Pharmaceutical Executive


Improving technologies




Better control, efficiency, and availability of hub services are driving a good deal of innovation in hub model design. In addition, technology and the platforms that drive hub services are also undergoing tremendous innovation. Many of the physician office interactions that happen today with hub providers still rely heavily on older modes of communication like faxes. But now there are powerful technologies and platforms available in the hub service market that better integrate into office workflows, advance the tools used to perform common hub tasks, and remove speed-to-fill obstacles, as well as augment the gathering, use, and coordination of data along the patient journey.

Modern platforms for hub services embrace the latest in secure cloud technology down to the core in order to leverage better control, interconnectivity, and performance on device neutral and mobile architectures. For example, modern hub architecture can provide:

Scalability. To facilitate economies of scale by providing the capability to handle multiple products and varied work-flows.

Personalization. To foster a more positive customer experience by providing the capability to tailor and customize services to a specific patient and his treating physician.

Plug and play. To enhance market responsiveness and agility by providing the capability to add additional services in response to marketplace and regulatory changes.

Integrated strategic view. To support development of more effective strategic and tactical services by providing better understanding of the customer.


Figure 2
These capabilities in turn create powerful options for biopharma to deploy a truly enterprise level platform for patient-centric service that also embraces product specific and multi-vendor workflows for care optimization, reimbursement access, and medication management while allowing for integrated data sharing and advanced analytics (Figure 2).

These secure modern platforms improve front-end activity on any web-enabled device with real-time coverage information for both the pharmacy and medical benefit, electronic consent capture and follow up, and auto-fill smart forms. They also improve back-end processes with real-time in-take integration, auto case distribution, dynamic custom prior authorization generation, and interconnectivity with ancillary programs such as co-pay, PAP, and nursing support. Combine just a few of these examples into a new or currently operating hub program, and the improvements are self-evident—and also measurable.

The best of these modern hub platforms don't just stop at making the most of secure cloud-based technology, but they also integrate the rapidly growing demands and efficiencies offered through e-prescribing. The challenge has been to go from mere e-referral captures that are commonplace today, to the next frontier of generating clean, accurate, and immediately fillable e-prescriptions that have the SureScripts certification seal of authenticity for a specialty product. Taking on this challenge in the area of specialty products has been quite rewarding for the early adopters in biopharma that have sponsored the roll-out of these platform improvements in disease states such as multiple sclerosis, oncology, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Those companies that are seamlessly integrating these technology advances into traditional hub service activity and data capture are setting new benchmarks for the industry on what excellence in hub platform design can look like.

Full speed ahead

A modern and independent hub design process will take into account the full range of program options that set the right balance of value against risk, across older and newer models, as well as harness the full power of better technology platforms. These dual sails of innovation are rapidly moving us into new blue oceans where biopharma can expect more and pay less for dynamic and powerful hub services that drive patient and physician access—not to mention significant market share—for their specialty products.








Rujul Desai is President of Occam Health Services He can be reached at
. Partha Anbil is Associate Partner at IBM Strategy & Transformation, Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice. He can be reached at
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