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Modernizing Patient Access for an Innovation-Hungry Market

Jun 28, 2018

Editor’s note: Heath Nivens, vice president of client strategy at EnvoyHealth, contributed to this post.

Since my introduction to patient access and engagement programs more than 15 years ago, much has changed: the suppliers, the service offerings, the nomenclature, and more. Amid this change and increasing complexity, the historic approach taken by most program suppliers remains.

Most suppliers continue to rely on traditional approaches to facilitate patient access: phone calls to patients, faxes to healthcare providers, outbound calls to payers, etc. While there has been a movement to gather electronic information, communicate via text, and automate basic patient access functions, the market remains desperate for innovation.

Three areas of opportunity are emerging within the program space:

1. Digital Health
Consumers increasingly turn to wearables and mobile apps to understand and manage their health. This trend represents a tipping point, involving patients like never before, bridging communication gaps, and promoting engagement. Programs that leverage digital-health technology will help patients understand their conditions and embrace treatment.

2. Insights & Analytics
Today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace demands an increased focus on insight generation. In my experience, program analytics are not an area of strength for suppliers—prioritized behind delivery of services. This handicaps patient access. Programs must dedicate attention to analytics, focusing on custom reporting dashboards that highlight key performance indicators, trends, and local marketplace insights.

3. Service Offering Specialization
It is not uncommon for manufacturers in the specialty space to designate subject-matter experts for areas like sales, reimbursement, and clinical services. Because the marketplace is complex and topics often require deep understanding and dedication, it makes sense to assign responsibilities by role. The same is true for services rendered via programs.

Unfortunately, many program suppliers ignore this simple principle and instead build in-house capabilities that don’t align with core program competencies. This over-reach ignores the tremendous specialization happening in market access—where nimble vendors provide novel service offerings to support the patient journey. Programs that best support the needs of payers, providers, and patients use the unique expertise of specialized service vendors.

How EnvoyHealth Delivers
I elected to join EnvoyHealth after more than 10 years working in market access, including for two specialty manufacturers. The reason is simple: I believe customers deserve a better program experience. EnvoyHealth delivers that.

Given its heritage, focus on digital health and technology services, and targeted vendor partnerships, EnvoyHealth is ideally positioned to partner with manufacturers for a better care experience.

To continue the conversation, visit or connect with Heath on LinkedIn.

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