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Considerations for Tech Enhancements to Your Hub

Learn the optimal approach for considering technology enhancements to your existing patient services program.

As patient services programs (also known as hubs) approach the one-year mark, most manufacturers start asking, “How do we optimize the program?” and “How can we do more with less?” The bottom line is to achieve better performance while finding ways to reduce costs.

Technology is usually the method that biopharma looks to use to achieve an increase in program efficiency. Luckily, there are many options to consider implementing. These include data relay calls to obtain electronic benefit verifications/electronic prior authorizations, the use of artificial intelligence to support calls to payers, data integration with specialty pharmacies, chatbots and text messaging to communicate with patients, and the use of portals and optical character recognition to reduce data entry.

Today’s patients are technologically savvy and may be ready to embrace tech-enabled program services. The latest study from Digital Information World suggests that “the average person spends upwards of 40% of their waking hours on an internet-connected screen. Given the 30% jump between 2019’s mobile device screen time (2 hours 56 minutes) and 2021’s (4 hours 12 minutes), global screen time averages are likely to continue to grow.”1 Combined with the increased consumer use of technology in routine healthcare interactions, the potential is there for mutually beneficial technology integrations in the program.

Implementing technology as the pathway to efficiency isn’t without challenges. Many options can be expensive and take time to develop, build, and implement. Therefore, manufacturers should approach tech enhancements with a mindset of upfront investment for long-term gains. The vendor you select to run your program will either have the technology in-house or bring forward a trusted partner to help implement your vision for tech-enhanced solutions.

Investing in technology does not replace the human component, but it does allow you to realign your investment to the right people for the work and the right technology for the process. A strong partnership with your patient services program vendor and trust in the relationship facilitates honest, consultative discussions of the best ways to optimize your patient services program – whether through headcount or technology, understanding cost and timelines, and more. Even in the most tech-savvy patient population, you will need to blend the right technology for those patients and your therapy with the right human support.

UBC’s goal is to get patients on therapy quickly and enable patients to stay on therapy as long as needed. UBC is patient-driven and client-focused, dedicated to crafting dynamic service offerings that support your vision. Contact UBC today to create a plan that enables your patients to maximize the benefit of your therapeutics.

About the Author

Cathy Patten is a Senior Director of Patient Access Services at UBC. She has over 20 years of experience in healthcare ranging from PBMs and specialty pharmacies to hubs. She utilizes this extensive experience to design and implement new patient service programs as well as redesign and rescue struggling programs. Her experience spans multiple disease states, including, but not limited to, neurology, oncology, dermatology, and cell and gene therapies.

References

  1. Digital Information World. “30 percent increase in Screen time since 2019 with an average of 4.2 hours being consumed per day.” https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2021/04/30-percent-increase-in-screen-time.html. Accessed 08/14/2023.

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Bekki Bracken Brown serves as the President and CEO of UBC, guiding the company’s mission and values, including the improvement of access for patients to receive better outcomes. She oversees all aspects of UBC, such as operations, business growth strategy, sales and marketing, and acquisition support.

With over 20 years of industry experience, Ms. Brown brings knowledge from a successful career in senior management from her tenure at Quintiles, INC Research, and, most recently, with Syneos Health. She’s been a member of the North Carolina BIO Board of Directors since 2019. She is also a member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association — Southeast Chapter and CHIEF, an organization that supports women executive leaders. Ms. Brown earned her bachelor’s degree at Duke University.