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Creating Value with Hub Models: Part 1 - Building the Hub

By Lash Group

What does value mean to you? As consumers, we often define value by what we get in exchange for our time or our money. And in general, that’s what value is – the worth, importance or merit of a product or service as perceived by a stakeholder. But in the healthcare space, value can be hard to define, and even more difficult to deliver in light of multiple stakeholder priorities. With increased complexity and budget constraints associated with patient support programs and these stakeholders’ goals, manufacturers are consistently pressed to support both patients and providers in creative ways to ensure access to therapy and product success.
The key to interjecting value in the healthcare delivery model for manufacturers is finding the overlap in patient, brand and provider priorities and creating
a presence in both the customer workflow and the patient experience. This intersection is where the hub model approach best serves a brand’s strategy by allowing manufacturers to reduce costs and remain competitive on both price and service offering while also serving increased patient and provider expectations.

What is a hub model?

For patient support programs, the hub model is a single point of contact for all stakeholders that streamlines patient and provider access to specialty drugs, prevents potentially redundant resources, increases quick and long-term access to products and delivers comprehensive healthcare management services. It is a centralized, strategic approach to delivering integrated services in a manner that interjects value to stakeholders throughout the treatment process.

The primary services within a hub

- Reimbursement Support - Copay Assistance - Patient Assistance - Clinical Support - Specialty Pharmacy Referral - ACE Service Center - Product Shipment - REMS Support 

Setting up the platform

Hub models can be designed in a bundled or unbundled format to meet disease, product, patient or manufacturer needs and ensure proper positioning of a specified therapy, the right progression through the healthcare continuum and – perhaps most important – better outcomes as value is delivered at each step. When evaluating hub models as part of program design, there are two critical areas for manufacturers to consider: the build and the impact of the hub model.

To arrive at the most effective design when building a hub model, manufacturers need to answer a number of questions about their product and its life cycle, specifically looking at: 
  • Provider specialty and business practices  
  • Cost of product
  • Competitive advantages
  • Patient and provider acclimation to technology
  • Distribution channel and the nature of the network
  • Support network partner selection and service/contract requirements 

Defining optimal outcomes

In addition to evaluating product needs, it will be critical for manufacturers to work with their service provider to define optimal outcomes. For example, is your goal to address multiple access barriers through one solution? Lash Group data demonstrates that this can lead to improved outcomes. And while specific solutions like co-pay support and clinical adherence are most likely to incrementally improve outcomes, when strategically packaged these outcomes are even better. 

Key indicators for the success of a program can include:
▪ Speed to fill
▪ Duration of therapy
▪ Prescription triage
▪ Patient average copay
▪ Prescription abandonment

A successful program should show better results in these areas than a specialty pharmacy acting alone. The hub model allows for resources to aid patients who are unable to afford out-of-pocket costs, such as copay and patient assistance program assessment, that the specialty pharmacy cannot provide.

Once goals and needs are defined, Lash Group can not only design a program that is scalable to patient and provider needs, but also tailor reimbursement strategies and health economic models to support coding, coverage and payment for products. Our integrated solutions also streamline access for patients and providers by allowing manufacturers to answer questions and provide service within the hub while aggregating data for better analysis. 

Fine-tuning at each touchpoint

When considering where program design has the greatest impact, it’s also important for manufacturers to closely evaluate each step of treatment and where to add value. For example, positioning clinical resources, like nurses, can be an innovative way to touch patients to provide education that impacts adherence during ongoing therapy. And, as in the example below, interjecting service at the clinical level can ease the administrative burden on manufacturers and establish a true patient-to-program relationship. 


Helping manufacturers build value

When it comes to setting up an optimally designed program approach, outcomes are accomplished once we understand the patient experience and key objectives of each stakeholder, and customer-facing services must be centrally aligned and coordinated to create a positive experience and produce the desired outcomes. Setting up the hub delivery platform the right way means defining those outcomes first, then evaluating how to interject value to achieve the desired results.

From program design through the duration of therapy, Lash Group has the unique ability to provide a comprehensive solution through a single point of contact. We can deconstruct a service model to understand the opportunity to deliver value for both patient and brand, and we apply technology like e-services to support the business process of the prescriber and payer ability to accept transactions. It’s all driven by our Patients First customer service philosophy, which ensures that Lash Group solutions are designed to truly create value and quality service for patients.

In Part II of our Hub Models executive brief series, we’ll examine proven outcomes of the hub model approach and benefits for each stakeholder.