Looks like it took about a year, from when McKesson closed on its acquisition of CoverMyMeds last April to now, for McKesson Specialty Health to fully integrate CoverMyMeds service for managing electronic prior authorizations (ePAs). Now, under a service called ExpressCoverage, information is to flow relatively seamlessly among patients, providers, payers and life sciences companies when a prescription requires a PA from a payer before dispensing.
Managing PAs is a key function of hub services, provided either by pharma companies directly or by their contract service providers (such as McKesson Specialty Health). PAs can take weeks to resolve–dire news for patients just diagnosed with a serious health condition–and, as Erica Conroy, VP operations at CoverMyMeds, notes, “The prior authorization process impacts approximately 300 million prescriptions each year, and of those, roughly 36% are abandoned.” Fulfillment delays are a problem both for initial fill, and to keep patients adherent to the drug regimen. Currently, pharma program managers contract with CoverMyMeds to provide what information they are aware of regarding PA requirements from payers, and payers compensate CoverMyMeds to keep their PA documentation up to date.
CoverMyMeds will continue to provide its ePA services to other hub service providers, but the ExpressCoverage version will only be available through McKesson Specialty Health, says Regina Murphy, VP of product strategy at Specialty Health. “Our combined solution is the most efficient e-service product on the market and offers manufacturers broader patient and provider reach, expedited management of benefit investigations and prior authorizations, faster time to prescription fill, and fully integrated program reporting.”