Several of the prominent trends affecting health-system pharmacies this year revolve around the issue of access – access to service, information, and more and different kinds of medications. Here are a few of those trends.
Services Closer to Home
People want their healthcare services close by, so health systems are working to satisfy that desire, expanding their services to retail outlets and medical clinics by forming regional and local partnerships with providers.
Health-system pharmacies are now working with large employers to provide services to their workers.
Not only does this offer easier access for patients, it enables the health systems to obtain more data about patients to better serve them.
Focus on Price
There will be greater attention focused on the 340B drug discount program centering around performance and compliance issues. There is likely to be more thorough auditing of the program, as well as new guidelines for self-disclosure and corrective action.
There is a mountain of data collected on patients, and the amount is growing rapidly. The challenge for health systems and their pharmacies is sharing that data. Different systems have different electronic record platforms which cannot link up and share data, so more efforts will be made to establish connections among the various platforms.
Data and data analytics will also play a larger role in the operation and growth of health-system pharmacies. The data will help to better track drug utilization and spending to ensure that pharmacies are functioning efficiently.
A Greater Emphasis on Transparency
Patients want access to all of their health information quickly and easily, and healthcare system pharmacies are attempting to satisfy that need. There are, however, some obstacles to overcome first in the form of patient privacy and data security laws. In their efforts to make information more readily available, healthcare providers also need to ensure they are complying with these privacy regulations.
Specialty Drug Growth
Last year, the specialty drug market grew 16 percent, and spending for such drugs will continue to grow in 2019 as more of these types of drugs appear on the market. Although access to these drugs can be more difficult for health systems, their use and reach will continue to grow because of their effectiveness in targeting specific diseases.
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