Patients with complex chronic illnesses can now receive more affordable medications and new pharmacy services with no added costs

Partnership between Shields Health Solutions and UCHealth brings patients more support services, increased number of specialty drugs to treat more conditions and expanded insurance coverage.
Oct. 28, 2020
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, who recently partnered with Sheilds Health Solutions, to provided expanded services, including a specialty pharmacy, to patients with complex chronic illnesses.
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital recently partnered with Sheilds Health Solutions to provide expanded services, including a specialty pharmacy, to help patients with complex chronic illnesses. Photo: UCHealth.

UCHealth patients with complex, chronic conditions now have access to specialized pharmacy services to help lower costs, expand treatment options, enhance medication management and improve their overall health.

UCHealth, a nationally recognized nonprofit network of 12 hospitals and more than 150 clinics throughout Colorado, southern Wyoming, and western Nebraska, and Shields Health Solutions, the nation’s leading specialty pharmacy integrator, announced today a partnership to expand the specialty pharmacy services offered at UCHealth clinics.

What is a specialty pharmacy?

The specialty pharmacy at UCHealth treats patients with complex chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, and rheumatology conditions. Treating such illnesses requires a combination of complex drug therapies and extensive patient support services that may not be needed for more common medical conditions.

To meet the unique needs of patients with chronic conditions, the partnership between UCHealth and Shields offers additional support services for these patients. For example, patients who fill their prescriptions with the UCHealth Specialty Pharmacy will now be guided by specialty pharmacy liaisons who work with each patient on-site at hospital clinics. These liaisons work with teams of experts to assist patients with health insurance prior authorizations, financial assistance and overcoming other barriers to care.

Specialty pharmacy provides added support

The expanded patient support services combined with newly available drugs give patients more treatment options at UCHealth. Shields currently partners with more than 40 health systems around the country and has helped patients achieve an average co-payment of less than $20, medication delivery of fewer than two days, and improved medication adherence to more than 90% on average.

“The price of prescription drugs can be a serious concern for our patients with complex, chronic diseases,” said Dr. Steven Edmundowicz, medical director for the Digestive Health Center at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and interim division director of gastroenterology and hepatology for the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The combination of lower prices, additional treatment options and the support of an integrated care team will help improve outcomes and the overall health of our patients.”

As the largest provider of Medicaid services in the region, UCHealth will provide these services to many underserved patients who may benefit from the enhanced support.

“Often the patients who benefit most from specialty pharmacy services are the most vulnerable, requiring and deserving additional support to help them reach the best possible outcomes,” said Lee Cooper, CEO of Shields Health Solutions. “We are honored to help the extremely talented team of administrators and care providers at UCHealth to bring this new level of service to patients and communities they serve.”