Integrating outpatient pharmacy into the continuum of care

Press Releases

July 31, 2014

MedWorks Rx merges with Proxsys Rx Integrated Outpatient Pharmacy

Unique system improves patient care while reducing hospital costs and improving performance measures

(BIRMINGHAM, AL) Medworks Rx and Proxsys Rx announce the merger of the two companies that will operate under the Proxsys Rx name. Proxsys Rx becomes the leading Integrated Outpatient Pharmacy Provider (IOPP) in the U.S. healthcare market. The company is focused on owning, managing and integrating outpatient pharmacies into the continuum of care for hospitals and health systems.

Proxsys Rx provides hospitals and health care systems with an immediate financial benefit by capitalizing their pharmacies and assuming all pharmacy operating and management costs. The Proxsys Rx model strengthens patient care by improving outcomes, the patient experience and patient satisfaction by better integrating medication and proactive pharmacist engagement into the continuum of care. The Proxsys Rx approach provides health care systems with long-term cost savings by reducing readmissions, improving HCAHPS scores and improving other key health system strategic indicators that impact reimbursements and margins.

“The integrated outpatient pharmacy model we have developed represents the single most profound advance the health system pharmacy industry has seen in more than fifty years. It’s truly a paradigm shift driven by market forces that include government mandates and billions of dollars in reimbursement dollars at stake”, said Proxsys Rx CEO George B. Salem, who points out that hospitals and physicians are being held financially accountable for what happens to patients after they leave the hospital. Market factors are creating a greater need to manage prescription drug compliance and adherence. Non-compliance costs health systems and hospitals billions per year. The Affordable Care Act includes stiff penalties based on readmission rates and other measurables.

“Proxsys Rx is a direct response to these market forces. We take ownership of the opportunity the pharmacist has to integrate the patient’s drug therapy into their transitional care and their home care, treatment and recovery. We provide hospitals and medical systems with turnkey processes that pivot the pharmacy approach to a fully integrated outpatient model. For hospitals, the stakes are higher than ever- their performance/reimbursement measures are directly impacted by outpatient pharmacy initiatives”, said Salem.

A discharge medication program provides a key example of how an integrated outpatient pharmacy initiative can serve the health system. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 20% of Medicare patients who had been discharged from a hospital were re-hospitalized within 30 days. Medicare is cracking down on readmissions by reducing reimbursements based on readmission rates, and readmission reporting is now mandatory, with penalties for readmissions increasing on an annual basis.

An estimated 11% of hospital readmissions are due to medication non-adherence at a cost of $100 billion annually. Proxsys Rx targets this issue working closely with hospital Administration to implement a discharge medication program serviced by the Proxsys Rx outpatient pharmacy. Under this program, pharmacy staff coordinates with hospital floor and discharge staff to provide patients the choice to receive their discharge medications at bedside before leaving the hospital. If the patient selects this option, payment is like any other pharmacy and the medications are delivered to the patient by pharmacy staff. The patient is then offered the option to receive an initial consult from the Pharmacist. As follow up, another pharmacist consultation is offered to the patient by phone within 72 hours of discharge. The patient care protocol includes a program of continuing pharmacist engagement throughout the course of the treatment whether the treatment is for a long term or chronic condition.

Given the fact that a contributing factor to 30-day readmissions is outpatient medication non-compliance and adherence, this program has shown a positive impact on readmission rates and patient satisfaction scores. In addition, the program contributes to the economic performance of the health system. A patient who leaves the hospital with his or her first round of prescriptions filled and in- hand, having had a consultation with a pharmacist, stands a much greater chance of maintaining that important drug regimen that can determine whether the patient recovers or suffers a relapse.

Proxsys Rx integrates the outpatient pharmacy into the patient care system through integration at other patient care points as well, including coordination with home health care, supporting case management initiatives, facilitating an employee pharmacy, serving the patients of system- owned physician practices and more.

Proxsys Rx founder George B. Salem also serves as Chairman of the company. Salem has managed, built and funded health care companies for more than thirty-five years. His most recent venture, Proxsys, sold to athenahealth (NASDAQ: ATHN) in 2011.

The Proxsys Rx Board members bring a depth of health care industry expertise and corporate leadership to the governance of the company. Board members include Chairman George B. Salem, Co-Chairman G.Ruffner Page, Jr, Secretary -Treasurer Arlen Reynolds, George I. Lazenby IV, and B. Clayton McWhorter.

Medworks Rx was formed to manage integrated outpatient pharmacies for health systems and has successfully managed pharmacy operations for health system pharmacy facilities for more than four years. Proxsys Rx was formed to own and manage integrated outpatient pharmacies for health systems and hospitals. The combined experience of Medworks Rx with the resources and expertise of the leadership team of Proxsys Rx position Proxsys Rx to work with health care systems, hospitals and physician practices nationwide to reduce costs, improve patient care and increase health system revenues and net contributions. Proxsys Rx now owns or manages seven integrated outpatient pharmacies for health system partners in Alabama and Mississippi. Additional information is available at Proxsysrx.com.