Shields "Care Corner" Blog

A Patient's Best Resource

James was recently diagnosed with a chronic condition that requires him to take an expensive specialty medication. Unfortunately, this expensive specialty medication will be an addition to the other medications he currently takes for his current ailments. When he went in for an appointment with his physician one day, he also met with a woman who introduced herself as his own personal Pharmacy Liaison. Confused as to what this meant, James listened as his Liaison described an array of services she provides for patients taking specialty medications and how she can make his life a little bit easier with services such as medication home delivery, personalized refill reminder calls, financial assistance etc. James loved this idea and explained to his Liaison that he’s on a fixed income and has a very high deductible insurance plan that he can’t get out of. Because of this financial burden and the expensive price tag of his new medication, James questions whether or not to even fill his expensive 3rd tier specialty medication. Hearing his concern, James’ Liaison worked to find financial assistance for the majority of his medications to keep his out of pocket expenses to a minimum, but initially struggled to find financial assistance for his specialty medication.


After speaking with James, his Liaison decided that applying to Prescription Advantage, a state-sponsored prescription drug program for seniors and people with disabilities, would be the best option to help ease the hardship of medication expenses. James lives about an hour away from his hospital specialty pharmacy, but was going to be in town for an appointment that day. When James came in to see his Liaison after his appointment they chatted about the possible assistance he could receive, his life and how hard he has worked over the years but still can’t seem to make ends meet. After about 20 minutes, James and his Liaison combed through all of his financial paperwork (W2, social security etc.) and applied for eligibility to the program together. At first, the process seemed too overwhelming to James to deal with and he was on the verge of giving up and not taking his life-saving medication. Thanks to the assistance, hard work, and patience of his Liaison, James has reduced copays on all of his medications and did not need to stress about taking his specialty medication. James was extremely grateful for the time his Liaison dedicated to his concerns and he was relieved to feel cared for throughout the whole process.


Key Takeaways:

  • Integrated Care: 3-5x more patient care interactions leads to higher patient satisfaction rates and fewer lapses in care.
  • Holistic Care Team: Having a dedicated Pharmacy Liaison as part of a patient’s care team results in 99% patient satisfaction
  • Reduced Copays: Being able to reduce a patient’s medication copay to the Shields’ average of $8 versus the national average of $100 relieves the patient of worrying about how they will be able to pay for their life-saving medication, which in turn improves their medication adherence.

To learn more about the difficulties that a specialty pharmacy patient faces and how implementing your own in-house specialty pharmacy program can provide better, more integrated care to these patients, check out this video:

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