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What does Clearway Health do?

Clearway Health partners with hospitals and health systems to build or strengthen their own specialty pharmacy program, improve access to care and provide personalized support to vulnerable patients, families, providers and care managers to eliminate barriers and ensure medications are received on time.

What are Clearway Health’s origins?

Clearway Health emerged as a solution to improve access to care and manage the complex medication needs of patient populations. A group of solution-seekers created a specialty pharmacy program to serve Boston Medical Center and its patients. Now, Clearway Health serves hospitals, health systems, and communities of patients they care for – providing a service that’s been proven, lived and experienced by our team.

What expertise does Clearway Health bring to the table?

We have a core team with knowledge and experience across multiple facets of the specialty pharmacy industry including:

  • Operations
  • Client engagement and success
  • Industry Affairs
  • PBM & payor expertise
  • Finance
  • Data analytics and IT

We deploy onsite dedicated staff and leadership to oversee the specialty pharmacy program operations and ensure optimal clinical performance and financial growth. These leaders are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who are experienced in workflow optimization, while also having direct access to the comprehensive care team for additional support.

Our leaders have established relationships within the industry, allowing for streamlined workflow optimization and drug access.

What is the definition of a specialty drug?

Specialty pharmaceuticals are high-cost prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, cancer and inflammatory conditions. These medications typically require special handling, administration and monitoring by a health care provider to make sure the medication is working as intended, side effects are tolerated and proper follow-ups are taking place. Because of this complexity, pharmaceutical manufacturers do sometimes limit the number of pharmacies that can procure and dispense certain specialty medications.

It is important to note that specialty medications are very expensive – often $5,000 or more per month– and most health plans that cover specialty drugs have strict requirements that govern when, where and how these medications get covered and at what out-of-pocket cost share by the patient. Because of the high cost, it is uncommon for the manufacturers of specialty pharmaceuticals to offer copay-assistance and other financial solutions.

Although the definition of specialty pharmacy can vary greatly, it remains one of the largest single areas of spend for health systems, and having a tailored specialty pharmacy strategy for a hospital or health system can provide the opportunity to unlock previously untapped revenue, cost savings, and clinical program support.

What is the definition of a specialty lite drug?

Specialty lite refers to specialty medications with less stringent requirements that are often available at most community pharmacies. These medications are typically used to treat HIV, migraines, diabetes, high cholesterol, respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease and neurologic conditions.

The growth of specialty lite medications has great potential to improve medication access, adherence and lower costs. The pharmacy teams at Clearway Health have expertise with specialty lite medications and can advise our clients in this area.

How does Clearway Health’s approach to specialty pharmacy differ from others?

People who experience a challenge are uniquely equipped to solve it. Born out of Boston Medical Center, we have experienced the same challenges facing many hospitals and health systems, giving us a unique perspective and understanding. Our legacy from Boston Medical Center allows us to provide a service that’s been proven, lived and experienced by our team.

When a patient is prescribed a specialty medication, the pathway to getting that medication is often marked with many obstacles. Clearway Health’s mission is to help patients navigate this path and ensure that they are getting the care that they need.

Clearway Health’s specialty pharmacy model works to proactively identify patients, assess barriers that may prevent care, and streamline the medication delivery to the patient. In addition, Clearway Health partners with hospitals to create a secure foundation to care for all patients regardless of independent variables such as health plan coverage, ability to pay, and access to transportation.

How can hospitals and health systems benefit from Clearway Health’s approach to specialty pharmacy?

For a hospital or health system, Clearway Health creates growth and opportunity across the organization:

  • Clinically, a streamlined prescription process ensures patients receive their medications on time, receive appropriate education and take their medication as prescribed.
  • Operationally, a sophisticated specialty pharmacy program promotes faster turnaround times, improved compliance and can significantly improve overall patient outcomes.
  • Financially, an enterprise can leverage a specialty pharmacy to significantly grow their revenue, effectively manage costs, and responsibly fund patient support programs that are mutually beneficial to all stakeholders.
How does Clearway Health help with staffing?

We hire a team of dedicated resources for our clients – who are not shared with other Clearway Health clients. This includes a Site Director, Clinical Pharmacists, Pharmacy Liaisons and other roles depending on the needs of the client.

Clearway Health provides comprehensive training and onboarding materials to streamline the new hire process and create efficiencies in the onboarding process for site dedicated team members.

How does Clearway Health implement specialty pharmacy services?

Clearway Health provides onsite implementation team members expertly trained in establishing specialty pharmacy services within clinics and pharmacies.

  • During implementation, we hire, onboard and train local resources to sustain program growth longitudinally at each site.
  • If ad-hoc support is needed unexpectedly, we have a team of central and implementation staff members that we can turn to for support.
How does Clearway Health help partners with contract pharmacy utilization?

Clearway Health works with our client partners to create a strategy that’s the best fit for them – including recommendations on contract pharmacies. Our collaborative goal is to serve as many patients and fill as many prescriptions within a health system’s pharmacy as possible. Usually, this means that we reduce reliance on contract pharmacies and help navigate prescriptions to decrease leakage outside of the system. We work with our clients to help them keep fewer, strategic contract pharmacies in place to fill specialty medications that may otherwise be difficult to access due to payer or PBM lockouts.

Our business-aware approach ensures that our clients successfully achieve 340B qualification for prescriptions through a health system-based pharmacy or a closely aligned pharmacy. There are often unexpected fees and required investments that come along with reliance on contract pharmacies. This could include procuring TPA software along with additional staff to track fees and network providers, keep records, maintain HRSA compliance and prepare for audits. An in-house program maximizes 340B access, which allows our clients to control the quality, patient experience and revenue while reinvesting back into their patients and communities.

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