An Open Letter to the Health System-Owned Specialty Pharmacy Industry
Approximately 25 percent of the 600+ health systems in the United States have established their own, integrated specialty pharmacies to provide patients in their communities with the best coordinated and comprehensive care that only a health system can provide to its own patients. Growth of the integrated specialty pharmacy industry is accelerating as it becomes clear that the model reduces fragmented care and health inequities, leading to better patient outcomes and reduced total medical expenses.
It’s About Patients, Not Prescriptions
To support the development of the model and manage our own future, the integrated specialty pharmacy industry is best served by working together to share our outcomes data and best practices. In an effort to join forces, the Health System Owned Specialty Pharmacy Alliance (HOSP) was created in 2020, backed by eight leaders in our industry. The role of HOSP is to serve as the voice of the integrated specialty pharmacy industry, establish industry benchmarks that demonstrate how the model results in marked improvement in patient care, and serve as the industry thought-leader and source for objective information and knowledge-sharing.
Three Things Integrated Specialty Pharmacies Health Systems Can Do to Improve Patient Care
Health system owned specialty pharmacies provide exceptional patient care, and it is time we collaborate and share data to attest to our ability to provide improved patient care and outcomes. We are asking you to join your voice with ours. Working together we can ensure we have the opportunity to manage the destiny of our own industry. Here are three important actions we are doing:
1) Development of Industry Benchmarks
We need industry-wide benchmarks to both demonstrate our success and measure our performance to further improve patient outcomes. As an industry, we haven’t done a good job of publicizing the data that showcases our successes, which is what distinguishes us from other specialty pharmacies. Sharing data will allow us to establish metrics to demonstrate our value and measure performance. These metrics will help us develop our own industry best practices. We have established a committee dedicated to these efforts, and plan to focus later this year beginning with a webinar to outline how HOSP will share data and build metrics.
2) Support for Patient Choice and Open Access
Integrated specialty pharmacies deliver exemplary patient care and exceptional patient outcomes because they are best positioned to alleviate barriers to accessing specialty medications for their patients. Interfering with a patient’s choice of specialty pharmacy provider or access to the drugs prescribed by their doctor results in fragmented care. Allowing patients to choose care provided through an integrated specialty pharmacy ensures they receive effective care coordination with their medical and pharmacy providers through frequent communication in-clinic or through shared electronic medical records allowing for a collaborative team approach that results in better patient outcomes.
3) Prioritization of Health Equity
Last year we experienced 365 days of public health, economic and social injustice crises that changed the world as we know it. Research has shown that Black and Hispanic Americans are twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 as white Americans. This demonstration of disparity and health inequity is simply unacceptable and must be addressed with data and action. To that end, HOSP is committed to prioritizing efforts that demonstrate how issues related to health equity can be positively impacted by health systems that choose to employ the unique capabilities of integrated specialty pharmacies. We are confident that through our data collaboration and benchmarking efforts, HOSP will also show how this model helps bridge the gaps faced by America’s most vulnerable populations. We are committed to the development of action-oriented recommendations for the industry by the end of the year.
Join Your Voice With Ours
Come join us as we get to work. We invite you to contribute your perspectives and expertise to help impact the lives of our own patients by delivering them the best possible care. Together, we know we can improve our own communities by improving patient care, reducing fragmentation and advancing health equity. Let’s collaborate, share our knowledge, and develop best practices we can all use to do everything we can to produce the best patient outcomes. Together, we can manage our industry’s future by managing our own patient care.
Join HOSP here
The Health System Owned Specialty Pharmacy Alliance (HOSP) is a network of leading health systems and the businesses that support them who advocate for better patient care and outcomes associated with fully integrated health system specialty pharmacies. HOSP believes that health systems are best positioned to provide the highest quality care to their specialty patients in the outpatient setting. HOSP advocates for and develops industry best practices to ensure that onsite health system specialty pharmacy operations have gold standard care models of excellence. For more information: http://hospalliance.org/
HOSP Board of Directors
1Drug Channels Institute analysis of ASHP national survey of pharmacy practice in hospital settings
2London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine