A unique approach to patient support programs

A unique approach to patient support programs

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By: Venkat Gogulamudi, Vice President, Engineering, CitusHealth

Patient Support Programs (PSPs) are primarily designed by pharmaceutical companies to streamline the patient benefit, authorization, and provider selection process. The programs are often managed by manufacturer-selected pharmacies that have provided evidence of a comprehensive process to expedite time to therapy and meet desired outcomes.

PSPs are complex, with multiple components to ensure the start of care and ongoing medication management is accurate and effective—which includes making sure financial programs are well understood, physicians are kept informed, and patients receive their prescribed drugs along with appropriate clinical care. The PSP provides financial support information to assist the patient in starting and remaining on therapy, as prescribed. But how do PSPs work and how does technology help them?

How PSPs became digitized and automated

Traditionally, the referral process is started by a physician completing a referral form specific to the manufacturer drug program. The physician sends a fax to either the manufacturer or the designated program referral hub to refer a patient, and then staff use that manual referral to enter information into their system and coordinate the care. This entailed talking to patients over the phone, sending additional faxes if more information is needed, and going back and forth with the physician with questions. Prior authorization is usually required, which typically requires signatures from more than one person.

The industry has needed more efficiency in its processes, but when the COVID-19 pandemic began, technology needs took a higher priority to solve for many industry needs for every aspect of care—including PSPs. Remote staff presented a whole new challenge. This meant less reliance on dated methods of communication by prioritizing technology like secure communication, video chat, and electronic data collection and sharing of information. By using these tools, organizations could seamlessly provide remote care.

While the PSP main steps to get a patient to therapy in a timely manner has essentially remained the same, the process is now transformed into a streamlined, digital model. With CitusHealth, pharmacies that manage PSPs can receive physician referrals securely and quickly, and manage the prior authorization process while keeping all parties, including the patient, informed. Managing the task associated with the patient onboarding and refill process with clear line of site of where the patient is in the process allows for bottlenecks to be overcome to meet the care outcomes intended. Providing all parties with a collaborative platform that allows for the secure and instant exchange of information has been an industry game changer.

With CitusHealth integrating using several methodologies (including using the healthcare standard for data exchange, FHIR APIs) into many different softwares, we allow the customer to decide the flow of information while maintaining staff, partner, and patient engagement functionality and preventing duplicate entry. If staff have questions, they can communicate seamlessly within the CitusHealth platform’s Message Center—providing instant chat access to patients and physicians. No need to use paper. No phone tag. No multiple faxes. No chasing down physicians. No duplicate data entry. It’s all in one cloud-based tool to make the PSP workflow simpler than ever before with access always available, from wherever it is needed.

This streamlined approach to PSPs—and care collaboration in general—simplifies referrals for physicians, better engages patients and family caregivers, and eases the burden on staff who can spend less time collecting and entering information and more time on providing quality care.

Schedule a demo today to learn more about CitusHealth’s electronic and automated approach to patient support programs and how it can improve your organization.

Venkat Gogulamudi
Venkat Gogulamudi
Vice President of Engineering, CitusHealth

With over 25 years in executive management, solution architecture, delivery leadership, and professional services, Venkat has a passion for cutting-edge technology and using Open Source software in enterprise applications. His pivotal role for CitusHealth involves managing engineering activities and integrating with industry-leading EHR systems—helping propel the company to drive additional ROI opportunities for our clients.

Venkat previously worked at Nokia and Microsoft, where he delivered the consumer-facing AWS, Azure Cloud hosted PaaS, SaaS services serving millions of users. His background spans various industries including healthcare, airlines, telecommunications, government, and other IOT domains delivering workflow automation solutions and enforcing strong security posture.