Cardinal Health service saves hospitals $20M in drug spend

Jan. 14, 2010

DUBLIN, Ohio, Jan. 13, 2010 — As the nation’s number of uninsured patients continues to rise, Cardinal Health is helping hospitals contain pharmaceutical costs by connecting uninsured patients with pharmaceutical manufacturer programs that offer free or discounted medications.

Many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer assistance programs that provide patients who meet specific requirements with access to free or discounted medications. When uninsured patients are enrolled in these programs, hospitals are able to reduce their overall drug spend by not having to absorb the cost of those patients’ medications. Each manufacturer has different program qualifications and application processes, however, which can make enrolling patients difficult and time consuming for hospitals.

Cardinal Health’s eRecovery Onsite service enables hospitals to completely outsource the process of enrolling uninsured patients in manufacturers’ patient assistance programs, at no up-front cost to the hospital.

The company’s eRecovery Onsite service saved participating hospitals more than $20 million on pharmaceutical costs in 2009 alone.

Many low-income patients experience unnecessary and costly repeat visits to the hospital because they cannot afford the prescription medications that can address their health issues. Hospitals that use eRecovery Onsite say that the program also enables them to reduce uninsured patient re-admission rates – and their related costs – because participating patients are better able to adhere to medication guidelines prescribed by their physicians.

“We know that, particularly during tough economic times like these, many uninsured patients have trouble maintaining good health because they can’t afford their medications,” said Steve Aragona, R.Ph., MS, MBA, director of pharmacy for Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) in Hackensack, N.J. “Cardinal Health’s eRecovery Onsite service helps us fulfill our commitment to delivering compassionate, quality care to our community by helping thousands of uninsured patients access life-saving medications at little or no cost to them.”

There are no start-up costs or staffing requirements for this service, and the program is designed to seamlessly integrate with each hospital’s pharmacy and billing department processes. Cardinal Health provides the staff to manage all activities related to patient assistance program enrollment. The company also offers monthly, customized reports of pharmaceutical savings per facility.

www.cardinalhealth.com

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