CASE STUDY:

Infused Oncology Therapy

CHALLENGE

This infusion therapy was coming second to market behind a successful competitive drug. Our client wanted to differentiate their medication by offering a better experience around the logistics of regular infusions for patients and the reimbursement process for clinicians.

HCS SOLUTION

We produced an omnichannel program to support patients and clinicians during every cycle of infusion therapy. Our nurse case managers provide personalized support, helping patients schedule infusion appointments and encouraging them to attend follow-up appointments. The program includes financial management services to help clinicians streamline the buy and bill reimbursement process.

IMPACT

22% increase in treatment due to:

  • Increased HCP confidence in the product
  • Increased patient willingness to initiate treatment
  • Fewer missed or delayed infusions
A Patient's Experience

MEET BARBARA

Barbara*, a 65-year-old female with heart disease, was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. Barbara had a high risk of infection, so her oncologist recommended an additional therapy to boost her white blood cell count and help reduce the chance of infection.

STRUGGLING WITH TREATMENT

Barbara was overwhelmed with the addition of another infusion to her treatment plan, especially one that wouldn’t treat her cancer. Chemo made her tired and weak, and she wasn’t motivated to return to her doctor’s office a day after chemo for this infusion therapy. She was also concerned about possible side effects, which sounded serious, but was hesitant to discuss these issues with her oncologist.

ENROLLED IN THE PROGRAM

To help Barbara with the logistics of an additional infusion therapy, Barbara’s oncologist enrolled her in the Patient Support Program. She used the Patient Starter Kit, which outlined the benefits of infusion therapy, to guide their discussion about how it would fit into her treatment plan.

WELCOME PHONE CALL

Barbara’s Nurse Case Manager called to welcome her to the program and completed a barrier assessment, which was entered in the SmartCARE Platform and reported to Barbara’s oncologist through the Clinician Feedback Loop.

Barbara’s Barriers

  • Lack of motivation
  • Medication routine and logistics
  • Managing side effects
  • Lack of communication with clinician

SUPPORT OFFERED

The Nurse Case Manager listened to Barbara’s concerns, answered her questions, and scheduled her first infusion appointment. She also discussed potential side effects and helped Barbara figure out what motivated her to take care of her health: her grandchildren.

First Call: Barriers Addressed

  • Medication routine and logistics
  • Managing side effects
  • Lack of motivation

Communication preferences

  • Patient interested in continuing phone conversations and receiving more information by email

Content Delivery: Email

  • “Finding Motivation” offered suggestions such as finding a support group and making a list of personal reasons to follow a treatment plan
  • “Talk to Your Doctor About Side Effects” emphasized that communication is key for a good patient—clinician relationship and offered tips on how to manage common side effects

BARRIERS REASSESSED

During their next call, the Nurse Case Manager checked in with Barbara, who was still overwhelmed thinking about how she would get to upcoming infusion appointments when she was feeling weak and tired from chemotherapy.

The Nurse Case Manager encouraged Barbara to ask for support and helped her make a list of family and friends who could take her to her upcoming appointments. She also reminded Barbara that continuing treatment was important in order to have a better chance of avoiding infection while on chemotherapy.

Second Call: Barriers addressed

  • Medication routine and logistics
  • Anxiety

Content Delivery: Email

  • “Asking for Help” recommended asking a friend or family member to drive to and/or attend appointments
  • “Coping with Emotions” gave advice on how to handle anxiety and stress

ONGOING SUPPORT

During subsequent scheduled calls, the Nurse Case Manager continued to monitor Barbara’s progress, reassess her barriers, and update her record for the SmartCARE Platform and Clinician Feedback Loop.

 
A Clinician’s Experience

BUY AND BILL REIMBURSEMENT

Dr. Goldberg* didn’t like the “buy and bill” model of infusion therapy because the reimbursement process was overwhelming for his staff.

LACK OF COMMUNICATION WITH PATIENT

Because Barbara was initially hesitant to discuss her concerns with Dr. Goldberg, he wasn’t aware that his patient was worried about side effects or the logistics of infusion appointments—barriers that could prevent Barbara’s adherence to her treatment plan.

SOLUTIONS

The program offered Financial Management Support to streamline the reimbursement process. The HCS Case Manager showed Dr. Goldberg’s office staff how to place an online order that would be fulfilled by a nearby specialty pharmacy and helped them get the information needed to complete the prior authorization process.

Dr. Goldberg also used resources from the Patient Support Program to monitor Barbara’s progress and improve their communication. He had access to the:

  • Patient Starter Kit, which included patient-friendly language and offered tips on how to set expectations and discuss the benefits of infusion therapy
  • Clinician Feedback Loop, which shared information collected by the Nurse Case Manager between appointments, including reported side effects and barriers addressed

MORE SUPPORT, BETTER OUTCOMES

As a result of being enrolled in the Patient Support Program, patients like Barbara were more likely to adhere to their infused oncology therapy and therefore have better outcomes. Clinicians like Dr. Goldberg were able to provide better care because the program strengthened patient—clinician communication, helped clinicians set expectations for therapy and identify and manage side effects, and provided data between follow-up appointments.

*Illustrative, not an actual patient/clinician

Channels of Support

NURSE CASE MANAGER

Nurses identify and address each patient’s treatment barriers during scheduled outbound calls and are available via a 24/7 hotline to answer questions and offer support

PATIENT STARTER KIT

Provides treatment overview information and tools designed to improve patient adherence

SUPPORT MAILERS / EMAILS

Information, tips, activities, and motivational messages are sent to patients throughout treatment based on patient barrier assessments and Nurse Case Manager conversations

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SUPPORT

Provides support to help offices streamline the buy and bill process

CLINICIAN FEEDBACK LOOP

Reports real-time data on patient status and engagement with the program via a portal, push email, or fax

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