New clinic services address crucial gaps found nationwide in diabetes careHartford, CT and Quincy, MA, Nov. 8 – Hartford HealthCare has ushered in a new level of care in Connecticut to enhance the care provided to the state’s diabetes population.
The Hartford HealthCare Specialty Pharmacy is an outpatient care and medication program dedicated to providing patients with the support necessary to manage complex medication regimens. This new approach combines traditional clinic care with radically enhanced care from Hartford Hospital’s specialty pharmacy and aims to improve the health in our community while reducing the total cost of care for other chronic illnesses, such as MS, HIV, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and now diabetes. The pharmacy is managed in partnership with Shields Health Solutions.
Many patients of the Hartford HealthCare Specialty Pharmacy living with chronic illnesses today have access to fully integrated services including clinical pharmacists and on-site “patient liaisons” to deliver the highest quality of care. The liaison works directly with each patient’s healthcare provider to ensure all specialty medication and care needs are delivered accurately and on time.
In the first phase of the new diabetes program at the specialty pharmacy, a patient liaison will be embedded in the Diabetes Lifecare clinic at Hartford Hospital. The liaison, trained in diabetic care coordination, can help take care of critical details such as insurance prior authorizations, insurance benefits investigation, medication adherence and financial assistance.
In phase two of the program, a team of clinical pharmacists will begin conducting targeted outreach to “at-risk” patients to make sure they receive the support they need to remain adherent to medications, address side effects, and keep blood sugar levels under control. Future phases of the program will bring Diabetes Lifecare services such as nutritional counseling and insulin pump support to more patients.
“As a Type 1 diabetes patient, I understand how difficult diabetes can be to manage, and the importance of comprehensive care and patient engagement to maintain good blood glucose control,” said Bill McElnea, Director of Ancillary Services and Diabetes Management, at Shields. “Unfortunately, most diabetes patients today are neither receiving the comprehensive care they need nor are they adequately engaged in their own care to successfully control their diabetes. As the first health system in the nation to launch such a program, it is a visionary step forward in care.”
“Diabetes is one of the most prominent disease states in this country and in our statewide community. At least 30% of people with diabetes are non-compliant with medication plans, many for understandable reasons such as affordability or complexity of treatment. The negative outcomes caused by non-adherence to medications can be catastrophic for patients and incredibly costly for them and their insurance providers,” said Bimal Patel, President, Hartford Hospital. “By extending our Specialty Pharmacy program to diabetes, our aim is to increase medication adherence for high risk patients to around 85%, as our partners at Shields have helped other health systems do with different chronic illnesses. By doing so, we are bringing high-touch, high-intensity care to an illness that has never received that kind of attention, and that impacts a significant percentage of Connecticut.”
“This is truly a groundbreaking way to approach diabetes care in a way that can transform the lives of patients and everyone who loves and cares for them,” said Jack Shields, CEO, Shields Health Solutions. “It really is far more effective care at a lower total cost to patients, care providers and insurance payors.”
About Hartford Hospital
Hartford Hospital, founded in 1854, is one of the largest teaching hospitals and tertiary care centers in New England with one of the region’s busiest surgery practices. It is annually ranked among America’s Best Hospitals by US News & World Report and has been recognized nationally for the quality of many of its programs, including cardiology, cancer, stroke and joint and spine care. The 867-bed regional referral center provides high-quality care in all clinical disciplines. Among its divisions is The Institute of Living, a 114-bed mental health facility with a national and international reputation of excellence. Jefferson House, a 104-bed long-term care facility, is also a special division of Hartford Hospital. The hospital’s major centers of clinical excellence include cardiology, oncology, emergency services and trauma, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, bloodless surgery and advanced organ transplantation. Hartford Hospital owns and operates the state’s first air ambulance system, LIFE STAR.
About Shields Health Solutions
Shields Health Solutions is a specialty pharmacy integrator and care provider, partnering with hospital leaders to create, grow and manage health-system-owned specialty pharmacies. Shields provides the fastest, lowest risk path for health systems to create or grow an existing specialty pharmacy program.
Started in 2012, Shields partners with health systems to provide on-site pharmacy and care professionals, a purpose-built specialty pharmacy technology platform, access to 80+ percent of all limited distribution drugs (LDDs) and most (health insurance) payors in the nation. Shields provides ownership of all specialty pharmacy assets in a health system’s name.
Today many of the most respected health systems in the nation, including UMass Memorial, NY Presbyterian, Houston Methodist, Dignity, Rush Memorial and NYU Langone rely on Shields Health Solutions to start, grow and manage their specialty pharmacy programs. For more information about the company, visit www.shieldsrx.com.