Standout specialty services

Take a look at some innovative offerings from The Compliance Team, Knapp, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Surescripts that are available to help specialty retailers.

Here are some innovative offerings that are available to help specialty retailers:

The Compliance Team
“The Compliance Team has championed a simplified operations-based accreditation process as a common-sense solution to defining and validating patient care quality for specialty drug and infusion services since 1994,” said founder Sandra Canally. “That’s when we introduced our first measured continuous quality improvement program for infectious disease physician practices.”

In 2021, medication therapy management and enhanced care planning have now become of paramount importance to the successful treatment of chronically ill patients, Canally noted. 

“Better communications at all patient contact levels and improved coordination between pharmacists and prescribing professionals have become imperatives for specialty drug and infusion practices to run smoothly on a daily basis,” she said. 

The Compliance Team’s sub-specialty accreditation programs for Patient-Centered Medical Home and Home Infusion Therapy were designed to show that practices who achieve accreditation and display the organization’s Exemplary Provider Accreditation Seal of Asclepius have met demanding quality measures. 

“Our industry-leading Safety-Honesty-Caring quality standards and evidence of compliance incorporate all relevant United States Pharmacopeia best practice recommendations,” Canally said. “In addition, each program includes expert-led implementation webinars and ongoing access to document templates and reporting portals that help streamline core business practices while addressing MTM issues so that program participants can advance their Medicare Star Ratings, as well as comply with all state licensure and managed care requirements.”  


Specialty pharmacies use KNAPP’s Apostore automated storage and retrieval systems, which automatically put medications away while recording their lot number, expiration date and serialization. They read 2-D and other barcodes, as well as optical character recognition. “These meds are then dynamically stored, providing the densest storage, with the most compact footprint available in the pharmacy,” said Brian Sullivan, KNAPP senior systems sales manager of healthcare solutions.

This approach becomes critically important in specialty pharmacy, where medications are extremely expensive and dispensing them in the wrong sequence can cost tens of thousands of dollars, according to Sullivan.

The Apostore systems always dispense medications first to expire, first out, assuring that the correct medications are dispensed as needed. Real-time inventory reports eliminate expensive errors caused by manual inventory systems, and the systems also provide warnings of medications that are close to expiration and other critical information.

The Apostore TWIN is the preferred system for specialty pharmacies because of the combination of ambient and refrigerated systems that are available, Sullivan noted. “The system acts as one unit with a single automated induction point for optimum staffing, and dispenses locations from both sides of the system based on the workflow and the space requirements of the pharmacy,” he said. “The automated system reduces staffing requirements, saves space and assures that the medications in the pharmacy are in a controlled automated system that allows the pharmacy to track their meds in real time.”


LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis Risk Solutions offers specialty pharmacies information that facilitates better decisions to improve treatment outcomes.

“The company’s VerifyRx is a real time compliance-driven solution, enabling specialty pharmacy staff to confidently fill a prescription with the knowledge that the writing physician is not sanctioned, deceased or lacks the required licensure or writing authority to write for the drug they are about to dispense,” said John Heller, director of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

VerifyRx allows pharmacy staff to submit Rx claims to LexisNexis before submitting the claim to their switch vendor. The platform can send predetermined messages directly to the pharmacy when needed.

“LexisNexis’ [social determinants of health] solution enables our retail and specialty pharmacy clients to leverage our regulated patient level public records-derived data assets to identify those specific patients that may be more prone to being nonadherent when it comes to their drug regimen or more likely to be rehospitalized,” Heller said. 

Heller said the solution leverages clinically validated socio economic attributes on key categories, education level and income, to identify barriers to care. Another offering, LexisNexis MarketView is a practitioner-level claims database that draws on more than 2.4 billion de-identified claims across ambulatory, acute and post-acute settings. 

MarketView enables specialty pharmacies to obtain critical intelligence about the practitioners and facilities diagnosing those disease states and writing prescriptions for those specialty medications. It also provides insight into the amount insurers paid and reported at the payer/provider level, and can be customized to specific service lines defined by ICD-10 and HCPCS codes.

Surescripts is streamlining the specialty medication prescribing and fulfillment process with services that reduce administrative burdens and help to initiate a patient’s pharmacotherapy faster. 

“Prescribing requirements for specialty medications are complex and involve inputs from health plans,  benefit administrators, specialty pharmacies, prescribers and patients,” said Ken Whittemore Jr., Surescripts vice president of professional and regulatory affairs.

“Specialty pharmacies are often on the receiving end of incomplete and paper-based forms that require lab and other data specific to the disease state,” he said. “Specialty pharmacists use these forms while reviewing a medication order to evaluate its appropriateness for the patient and to ensure the medication will be covered by the payer.” 

Whittemore cited a 2020 Surescripts survey in which 69% of specialty pharmacists said administrative tasks interfere with providing patient care, and 39% reported needing to reach out to clinicians at least five times a day for more information.

If Surescripts Specialty Patient Enrollment isn’t available to prescribers, then pharmacists can use Surescripts Specialty Medications Gateway to gather necessary patient information and fill in the gaps.  “It does so by enabling specialty pharmacies to initiate a patient search and gather clinical information required to fulfill a specialty medication directly from the patient’s electronic health record, so they can get patients started on therapy faster,” Whittemore said. 

He noted that a large specialty pharmacy reduced the overall turnaround time to initiate prescription therapy by nearly two days, realized a 44% decrease in calls to prescriber offices related to missing clinical data and improved its successful dispensing rate by 14%.