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June 20, 2019

What to Look for in a Specialty Pharmacy: Accreditation Affirms High-Quality Specialty Care

Specialty medications continue to be a predominant topic in the healthcare industry, as more and more of these novel drugs are developed. In 2018, over 40 of the 60+ medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were specialty drugs.[1], [2] Even though only 1 to 2% of Americans use specialty medications, it is anticipated that they will account for half of all drug spend by 2020.[3]

The explosive growth in innovative specialty medication treatment options has been spurred by a rising number of people with complex conditions that are difficult to treat, as well as advances in technology. These drugs are also complex and require a higher level of care in order to achieve optimal outcomes. It’s important to work with a specialty pharmacy that understands the treatments and potential obstacles and provides the care patients need to see success from their specialty medication therapy.

Without a universal definition of a specialty pharmacy, any pharmacy can claim to be a “specialty pharmacy,” and with specialty drug spend increasing, more and more pharmacies are making such claims. The National Association of Specialty Pharmacies (NASP) says that a specialty pharmacy should be accredited by an independent third party, such as URAC or ACHC in order to differentiate themselves from those not fully specializing in specialty services.[4] In addition to achieving URAC accreditation for Mail and Specialty Pharmacy services, EnvisionPharmacies recently received accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) for Specialty Pharmacy services.

ACHC is an independent, non-profit organization that provides accreditation services to the healthcare industry. ACHC accreditation ensures an organization’s compliance with national standards. It reflects a dedication and commitment to meeting practices that facilitate a higher level of performance and patient care. The accreditation process, which includes an extensive onsite survey conducted by an industry expert, reviews employees’ training and examines patient, prescriber and employee satisfaction levels to ensure patients are receiving robust specialty care.

An Individualized Approach Helps Optimize Specialty Medications

KPI Stats Graphic_v2[1]As a URAC and ACHC-accredited specialty pharmacy, EnvisionPharmacies’ specialty pharmacy, EnvisionSpecialty, has developed a care model that provides support to patients before, during and after their treatment to achieve optimal outcomes. Our comprehensive approach provides individualized care from certified specialty and often disease-certified pharmacists. We are both condition- and drug-focused, providing custom pathways for the disease state and medication therapy, with continuous monitoring to drive the best possible results. This means we spend more time with each patient assessing risks, readiness for therapy, medical benefits, and tracking disease progression and medication adherence.

Our accreditations demonstrate our commitment to quality healthcare and accountability based on rigorous national standards. They affirm that our high-touch, personalized care model is providing the quality care specialty patients need and that payers can rely on to manage this growing and expensive segment of healthcare.

Click here to read the press release about our accreditation.

[1] Rosenthal, Marie (2018). Specialty Is Still A Big Player In Rx Approvals. Specialty Pharmacy Continuum. December 13, 2018.

[2] Rosenthal, Marie (2019).Cancer, Orphan Drugs Top 2019 Rx Pipeline. Specialty Pharmacy Continuum. February 15, 2019.

[3] 2018 Trends in Specialty Drug Benefits, PBMI.

[4] Fein (2017). The 2017 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers. Drug Channels Institute.

* Net Promoter Score (NPS) is one of the most used satisfaction indicators in all industries, based on one question, "would you refer EnvisionSpecialty to somone else?" The score is determined by the percent of Promoters who would refer the company minus the percent of Detractors who would not refer the organization. A score of -100 to 0 indicates need improvement, 0-30 equals good, 30-70 is great and a score of 70-100 is excellent. Source: