Shields Health Solutions has partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital to open a specialty pharmacy next to the Longwood campus, a business that the groups say will help improve the pharmacy experience for patients with complex chronic conditions.
Shields, which operates specialty pharmacies with more than 70 health systems around the country, focuses on medications that need special handling, such as those that are infused or injected, and require special attention from medical staff.
The pharmacy, the first outpatient pharmacy to be opened by Children’s, will start by providing medications to patients in four specialties, including neurology, endocrinology, pulmonology, and gastroenterology. Plans are to expand to six specialties.
While Children’s owns the pharmacy and will employ the pharmacists on site, Shields is providing the protocols and managing the reporting functions and insurance approvals, and helping patients secure financial assistance. Shields is also providing liaisons to help patients navigate hurdles and even to help patients take the drugs.
In the past, patients with unique pharmacy needs would be restricted to ordering medication from mail order pharmacies. Dan Ramey, chief operating officer for Shields Health Solutions, said that approach wasn’t as coordinated with the patient’s medical team and often left the patient to navigate accessing their drugs on their own.
The newly opened pharmacy, which launched last week, will more closely track and follow patients in collaboration with physicians and clinical staff at the hospital. Patients can pick up prescriptions downtown or have them mailed to their homes.
“Specialty pharmacy care is oriented at providing a white glove service for patients who have the most critical outpatient pharmacy needs,” Ramey said. “To administer those drugs, there is a need to have a robust infrastructure to support that.”
Shields spokespeople say the company has helped reduce co-pays, eased prescription deliveries, and improved medication adherence.