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UBC Perspectives from Asembia’s AXS24 Summit

What does the future of patient services look like?
Patient services are undergoing rapid changes based on regulatory requirements and evolving patient and prescriber expectations.

What happens in Vegas is not staying in Vegas! Asembia’s AXS24 Summit, the 20th-anniversary event, was one for the record books. With over 8,000 attendees, representing manufacturers, payers, health plans, pharmacists, specialty pharmacies, and product suppliers with innovative technologies, to name a few, there was incredible energy in the various sessions, on the exhibit floor, in the hallways, suites, and, yes, even cabanas.

You could see a demo of quality assurance technology, listen to autonomous benefit verification calls, earn continuing education credits, and even spend time petting puppies. The speakers were thought leaders in the industry delivering insightful perspectives. There were panel sessions that examined questions about patient care, the use of specialty lite, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, what is new for gene therapies, and the effects of upcoming Medicare regulations.

Some key messages centered around rare, ultra-orphan, cell, and gene therapies. Notably, new payment models are needed, making this a prime opportunity for innovation and new tools. Another area of focus was payers devising new strategies for coverage and label expansions due to these being potential areas of increased risk. There were a variety of sessions based on the Medicare Inflation Reduction Act and how this will affect affordability programs and the opportunity for hubs and specialty pharmacies to ensure Medicare patients enroll in the Medicare Prescription Payment Plan.

Technology continued to be a spotlight topic but thought leaders were adamant that having the right balance of talented people optimizing and prioritizing processes alongside technology was the necessary path for eliminating access barriers for patients. Of course, affordability challenges continue to be front-and-center given the increasing hurdles making treatment inaccessibility for many people in the U.S. an ongoing area of concern.

Social determinants of health (SDOH) continue to unequally affect groups such as people of color, LGBTQ+, Latinos, rural settings, and public health plans. The burden of prior authorizations, high out-of-pocket costs, and high deductibles all add to the emotional, mental, and physical debilitation that contribute to a lack of trust in healthcare and influence negative perceptions and lack of access to care and life-changing medications.

UBC believes that choosing the right hub and persistency partner is a critical component to ensuring all patients receive the services and health literacy education necessary to them at all stages of their health journey. Manufacturers should not take the responsibility of choosing their partners lightly; with UBC you can rest assured your partner brings insightful, experienced, patient-centric solutions to meet the evolving challenges your patients encounter.

While specialty pharmacies can duplicate some of the work done by a hub, their costly ‘enhanced services’ models are typically transactional and are centered around dispensing efficiencies and not the patient experience. Manufacturers need to ask themselves, “Do I want a transactional approach or should my model put the patient and prescriber experience first?” The difference at UBC is that our access, affordability, and adherence models are patient-centric, brand-specific solutions offering customized wrap-around services.

During our time at Asembia, UBC shared updates within our Patient Access Services ranging from innovative technologies to new offerings and leaders. We discussed the importance of synchronizing the right people, processes, and technology in patient services. We also shared breakthroughs with our REMS strategies and evidence-based solutions along with our Citeline Awards. UBC is thankful to our current customers and proud of the work we have done together and we enjoyed seeing you at Asembia. To all the future partners we met and engaged with we are excited to explore what is possible with you in the near future.

About UBC

UBC designs purpose-built patient support programs to meet the needs of the patient type and indication. By focusing experienced team members on patient’s needs, we can increase speed to therapy and improve the number of patients that start and stay on therapy.

To learn more about our purposeful access, affordability, and adherence solutions, contact us here.

About the Author

Cathy Patten, Senior Director, Patient Access Services, is an operations leader with over 25 years of customer service, client services, and sales experience in Pharmacy Benefit Management, Specialty Pharmacy, and Hub Services providing support to patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers through phone, email, and chat channels. She has extensive experience in various disease states including neurology, oncology, hemophilia, behavioral health, and cell and gene therapies, as well as multiple programs in orphan and ultra orphan rare diseases. Cathy is a results-driven, quality-focused, service-forward professional who successfully deployed and managed remote workforces and multi-site operations, as well as new start-ups and transition/rescue programs.

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Bekki Bracken Brown

President & Chief Executive Officer

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.