Q&A: LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ Craig Ford discusses collaboration to improve business, outcomes

Craig Ford talked to Drug Store News about how LexisNexis Risk Solutions works to provide its pharmacy clients with actionable insights meant to improve both business performance and patient health.
David Salazar
Managing Editor
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As a company focused on delivering tools for risk management and decision report, LexisNexis Risk Solutions focuses on using data and analytics to connect patients, providers and healthcare technology systems. The Atlanta-based company uses advanced analytics and proprietary linking technology to deliver actionable insights to help its healthcare clients improve their businesses and patient health. Drug Store News sat down with Craig Ford, LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ vice president of sales for pharmacy and enterprise strategic markets, to talk about how the company can help retail pharmacy operators. 

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Craig Ford

DSN: Can you tell us about some of LexixNexis Risk Solutions’ areas of expertise in health care?
Craig Ford: Our healthcare business touches pharmacy, life sciences, payers, providers and health information and technology. Most of the challenges within any of these organizations can be solved by the application of accurate, rich, and well-integrated information that facilitates better decisions. Specific to pharmacy, we are fortunate to partner with all of the leading pharmacy chains and most PBMs. Having integrated our provider data within their workflow or claims adjudication platforms, there is a strong degree of consistency across the market. Going forward, our proprietary linking technology combined with our own unique identifier, LexID, will match and manage information for more than 280 million U.S. consumer identities. We believe that our authentication and identity management capabilities align with our client’s strategy for optimizing their patient data intelligence — one of the highest priorities these days.

DSN: Can you discuss the balance between risk and opportunity, and how managing risk helps retail pharmacy operators?
CF: Identifying and then reducing risk creates opportunity. Unless the tools available are used, it’s very difficult to make the right decisions that will lead to delivering better care.

It’s no secret that retail pharmacies operate on thin margins.  We know that they are constantly managing operational and compliance risks; so, having the most current data in real-time contributes towards greater efficiencies. Proper patient authentication helps to eliminate risk, as well. 

DSN: What should retailers do to maximize their sales and profits from working with your company?
CF: Many would say it starts with the implementation kick off; I believe that it begins sooner than that. When a prospect evaluates our offerings, tests our services, and speaks with our references — on some level — a commitment has been made to make improvements. During this process, key decisions are made that impact future conditions, including economics. 

I also believe that success is a two-way street. Both companies need to agree to a plan, commit the resources, monitor progress, and make change when needed. LexisNexis commits implementation and post-implementation support with every project — regardless if it’s digesting our Provider Masterfile, implementing our real-time provider validation tool within the pharmacy dispensing workflow, or cleansing and linking patient data. If we can meet all compliance requirements and deliver greater operational efficiencies, the commitments made by both companies will ensure maximized results.

“Our business, from day one, has been built around compliance, identity management, and risk mitigation; we feel fortunate to be able to respond, support, and truly make a difference when our customers needed it the most.”

DSN: What role does education play? Tell us what you are doing in that regard. What do retailers need to do to assist you?
CF: It’s imperative to stay on top of current industry challenges and collaborate on a regular basis with our business partners. Outside of ongoing account management meetings and business reviews, LexisNexis conducts an annual Pharmacy Partner Summit where we lock down for two days with strategic partners and industry experts to discuss needs, road maps, and ideas to enhance and support the broader pharmacy market.  It is an open, collaborative forum — nobody holds back. This has strengthened our partnerships, demonstrated our commitment to our customers, and has enabled us to continue to deliver strategic, market-leading solutions for our clients and prospects. To have the nation’s leading pharmacy providers, PBMs, and strategic IT partners in a single room is a point of pride for our team; it’s also a big reason why we are a market leader.  We believe that we owe it to our customers.

DSN: How has the pandemic influenced your company's strategies? 
CF: It has proven the value of a trusted partnership. Much collaboration has happened in the last 12-13 months between LexisNexis and our business partners. Regardless if they already had systems in place or uncovered the need for a new solution to address testing, patient identity authentication, safety, or billing — the lines were open. Our business, from day one, has been built around compliance, identity management, and risk mitigation; we feel fortunate to be able to respond, support, and truly make a difference when our customers needed it the most.   

DSN: What does the future look like for you? Why? 
CF: LexisNexis Risk Solutions is extremely optimistic; we are positioned well to deliver the solutions needed today, and we are confident that we are prepared — through our ongoing, collaborative relationships – to meet and exceed the needs of tomorrow. Our culture enables us to respond quickly and to be flexible to make change — a requirement of the industry.