SUCCESS STORY | Standardization

Search for More Cost-Effective Therapies Brings Standardization, Avoids 50 Percent on Insulin Spend

The Challenge

Since 1895, Adena Health System, located in Chillicothe, Ohio, has remained focused on its commitment to serve patients by providing the best healthcare and personal service. Today, Adena Health System offers quality healthcare for the more than 400,000 people who call south central and southern Ohio home. Adena Health System, consisting of three hospitals (Chillicothe, Waverly and Greenfield) with a total of 311 beds, offers five regional clinics and employs more than 2,500 people.

Adena offers leading-edge services in the areas of heart health, cancer diagnosis and treatment, women’s health, children’s health and orthopaedics. The physicians and medical staff at Adena provide a number of specialty services typically found in larger medical centers, including open heart surgery, da Vinci robotic surgery, cardiac catheterization, cancer care, advanced orthopaedic procedures, high level MRI testing and a Level II pediatric nursery.

An Intalere member since 2003, Adena and Intalere have collaborated on many projects aimed at reducing costs and enhancing quality of care at Adena’s facilities. Recently, when Adena’s administrators proposed looking into more cost-effective pharmaceutical therapies, Fred Yingling, Director of Pharmacy for Adena Health System and Comprehensive Pharmacy Services (CPS), and his team knew they could rely on Intalere to help them work through the process. As in other clinical areas, evaluating alternative pharmaceutical therapies is a delicate balance between mitigating costs and ensuring (and sometimes improving) clinical efficacy. To develop a solution, the team needed to review policy and process, as well as formulary management, product effectiveness, possible volume changes and cost. 

The Solution

The collaboration efforts between Intalere, CPS and the pharmacy team came to fruition through a proposed standardization of inpatient long-acting insulin therapy which could, if adapted, result in considerable savings without compromising patient care. This proposal, from supplier Novo Nordisk, was considered by Adena’s Pharmacy Clinical Variation Team, and by working with data and expertise provided by the Intalere pharmacy clinical specialist, the products identified by CPS were confirmed to fit Adena’s necessary parameters regarding purchase price and contract compliance.

Intalere specializes in providing crucial data to members enabling them to accomplish quick reviews of similar products (both in design and use) that vary in price and result in significant savings. In some instances, the same product by other distributors can be found at markedly different costs. This simple step can quickly put members on a straightforward pathway to start making a difference.

In many situations, similar products manufactured by different vendors can be reviewed and evaluated by the facilities and declared comparable. The best price option then becomes a key differentiator. This is exactly what happened in the Adena case.

The Outcome

“Working closely with physicians, the pharmacy clinical variation team had the opportunity to review comparable products, with no loss of clinical efficacy,” said Yingling. “In our case, the savings far outweighed any marginal differences, and we were able to maximize our cost-avoidance savings by approximately 50 percent with no clinical difference.”

The concept of equivalency empowers providers to evaluate economic data (price and cost) in the context of clinical outcome and efficacy with the objective of providing similar or higher quality care and offering greater value to the patient and the institution. Through their proactive partnership, Intalere is able to help members identify equivalency opportunities in a wide variety of areas including pharmacy, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, materials management, facilities management, foodservice, telecommunications, information technology and many more.

As a member of the Ohio Valley Hospital Consortium (OVHC), an independent organization of community healthcare entities, Adena is able to work collaboratively with OVHC members to improve the health delivery system in southeast Ohio. Adena also enjoys the benefits of regional aggregation, networking and best-practice sharing with its six OVHC partners. The group’s quarterly meetings, facilitated by Intalere, are just one part of the “continuous communication” Adena and other members find so valuable. “With the pace and demands of our daily routine, things can sometimes fall off the radar,” Yingling added. “Our Intalere representatives are there to jump in and make sure we are taking advantage of every opportunity to save and improve.”