Surescripts Tackles Prescription Abandonment with Point-of-Care Information That Supports Patient-Provider Shared Decision Making
Nancy Fabozzi, Principal Analyst for Digital Health
September 6, 2018
Surescripts delivers a suite of connected health information solutions designed to streamline electronic prescribing processes. Surescripts has long demonstrated market-leading innovation with its pioneering health information network, the Surescripts Network Alliance. The Surescripts network, which includes the nation’s top electronic health records (EHR) vendors, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, clinicians, health plans, and others, allows participants to securely exchange patient-specific benefit, medication, and prescription information.
The company’s newest offering is its Real-Time Prescription Benefit solution, integrated with its Electronic Prior Authorization solution, which have earned Frost & Sullivan’s New Product Innovation Award for 2018. This award recognizes companies that have successfully introduced new and innovative products that demonstrate exceptional product quality and customer value. Surescripts’ new solutions deliver critical information on a patient’s health plan benefits as well as information about drug pricing, all seamlessly integrated into the provider’s EHR and electronic prescribing workflow. This information allows prescribers to not only quickly and efficiently understand what medications are approved by the patient’s health plan, but also enables them to view pricing information and drug and channel alternatives so that they can engage in an honest discussion with patients about what makes sense from a therapeutic and cost standpoint.
By delivering prescription price transparency at the point of care, Surescripts is helping combat the problem of prescription abandonment, which is largely driven by patients’ financial concerns. It is no surprise this is happening; the rising cost of prescription drugs is a critical and growing concern for the US healthcare system. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Americans spent $425 billion on prescriptions in 2015—more than a 12% increase from 2014. Prescription drug cost inflation coincides with the rise of enrollment in high-deductible health plans, which increased 20% from 2008 to 2016. As a result, many people face substantial out-of-pocket costs due to higher co-pays and deductibles. The high cost of drugs means that patients can face unanticipated high costs when they arrive at the pharmacy counter—and many simply walk away without filling their prescription. According to a Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll, 10% of patients who abandon their medication do so because of cost.
Prescription abandonment and medication non-adherence puts patients at risk for developing serious and expensive complications down the road. That is not only bad for patients, but it is also bad for providers who may be negatively impacted, especially if they are in value-based contracts. Everyone loses when patients cannot afford to fill their prescriptions. That is why healthcare providers are turning to new technology solutions that help patients get the medications they need, when they need it, and at a price they are willing to pay.
Surescripts Real-Time Prescription Benefit and expanded Electronic Prior Authorization solutions are designed to address two of the most important root causes of medication non-adherence—complex prior authorizations and a lack of price transparency. Prescribers need complete, correct, and quick information about a patient’s health plan drug coverage to prevent unnecessary delays in issuing a prescription. Once a drug is approved and prescribed, patients also need to be informed about potential out-of-pocket costs so they are prepared to either meet those costs or request an appropriate, more affordable alternative.
Alongside its Real-Time Prescription Benefit and Electronic Prior Authorization offerings, Surescripts is revolutionizing the industry by allowing providers and patients alike to select medication that is both effective and affordable at the point of care. And, unlike its competitors, Surescripts develops its solutions in collaboration with the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs by creating a standards-based platform.
Patient-centric, high-quality healthcare requires real-time patient-specific benefit and price information. Frost & Sullivan independent analysis confirms that Surescripts’ end-to-end workflow management capabilities lead to higher medication adherence, reduced time delays, and greater satisfaction for patients, physicians, and pharmacists.
About the Author
Nancy Fabozzi, Principal Analyst for Digital Health, is an 8-year veteran of Frost & Sullivan. Nancy works with Frost & Sullivan’s Transformation Health practice where she tracks a variety of US health IT markets including Electronic Health Records, Revenue Cycle Management, Population Health Management, and Patient Engagement.