November 30, 2021 Ashley Struble

Changing The Way Diabetes Is Treated

The Shields Diabetes Program applies our integrated care model to diabetes by placing pharmacy liaisons in clinics. Liaisons are trained to handle benefits investigation, prior authorization, financial assistance, refill reminders, and new patient outreach. While simplifying care and improving access for patients, the program also reduces the administrative burden on nursing staff. Shields works with our hospital partners to track key patient outcomes, such as medication adherence, HbA1c, and hospitalizations, to ensure ongoing patient impact.

November is National Diabetes Month and at Shields Health Solutions, we are changing the way we care for patients with this disease. In an upcoming article, Bill McElnea, Vice President of Population Health, explains how the Shields care model can make a significant impact in the way diabetes is treated:

Making appointments, refilling medications, ordering supplies, visiting doctors, playing phone tag to get questions answered, doing paperwork, picking up medications—all tasks that can consume several hours each week for people with diabetes and their caregivers. Take into account the complexities of additional health issues and financial worries, and it’s not uncommon for diabetics to feel overwhelmed by coordinating so many elements of their own care.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In the clinics where our Diabetes Care Program is in place, all patients receiving a diabetes prescription are directed to a liaison, who validates eligibility through benefits investigation, completes the prior authorization (PA)—required for approximately 40% of scripts—and secures financial assistance (FA) for the patient, a necessity for about 70% of prescriptions written. Liaisons complete the PAs quickly, so that time to therapy is less than 48 hours. All financial assistance options are explored to keep average copays at $10 or less.

In addition to the upcoming article, Shields released this press release to the national media that highlights the program’s reduction in medical expenses and the average reduction in HbA1c of 0.7.

For more information on the diabetes program at Shields, click here.