Supporting Patients During COVID-19: Summa Health Specialty Pharmacy

Published 10/15/2020
by Kathryn Edwards

In a recent Healthcare Innovation article, pharmacy leaders from Trellis Rx’s partner Summa Health shared how the health system’s locally embedded specialty pharmacy is helping patients with chronic conditions access and adhere to their therapy regimens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Feucht, who leads pharmacy services at Summa Health, and Stuart Deal, who manages Summa Health’s specialty pharmacy, were interviewed for the article. Feucht and Deal shared their insights on how the health system’s clinically integrated specialty pharmacy care model allowed the health system to quickly adapt to address patients’ concerns and meet patients’ needs when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

As Feucht explained: “Pre-COVID, [our model] was a health system-based specialty pharmacy where we had pharmacists and pharmacy liaisons embedded within the clinics. So they’re working at the elbow of the provider, seeing and managing these patients. It’s really part of the patient visit: handling tasks such as prior authorizations, and identifying events or any barriers we have to adherence and compliance. When you look at the shift to the COVID [era], we were well positioned to move that into a virtual environment without any missteps.”

Deal added: “One of the big elements is the relationship they’ve created with the care team member. We have found that patients who are already in a fragile disease state can become very unnerved and don’t necessarily know what to trust. There was a lot of information going around, and it was tough to know exactly who to trust and what to trust. They had concerns about showing up to clinics and sometimes there would be appointments that they absolutely couldn’t miss. So our team became almost a calming force for them; a resource they can lean on and depend on to provide the appropriate information.”

Read the full article on Healthcare Innovation’s website, or contact Trellis Rx to learn more about building a locally embedded specialty pharmacy at your health system.