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Six Startup Questions for Health Systems Considering Specialty Pharmacy - Acentrus Specialty

Six Startup Questions for Health Systems Considering Specialty Pharmacy

As more and more health systems consider adding a specialty pharmacy capability, I’m asked a lot of questions about next steps and considerations. A common question is, “What kind of data do we need to collect and provide, and how are we going to report it?”

This question isn’t surprising given the specialty pharmacy market’s focus on data; health systems’ are very concerned about providing measurable outcomes. But it’s only one of many questions that should be asked when implementing a specialty pharmacy. Here’s a list of the top 6 questions to ask:

1. Is the decision supported by senior leadership?

I cannot emphasize more importantly that alignment with senior leadership is critical. Do the executives in the C-suite understand the value of specialty pharmacy and the growing role it will play in patient care and drug access? Do they understand how specialty pharmacy will support improved patient and physician satisfaction and lead to better patient outcomes?

2. Whom do we serve?

It’s important to determine the scope of services that will be provided. Is the organization serving a defined patient population? By sharpening the focus, new specialty pharmacies can activate more quickly and then expand into other therapies as needed.

3. How can we improve patient care?

Health systems are in a unique position in that they serve patients at every stage of their treatment journey with an unsurpassed level of integrated care. Adding specialty pharmacy services enables physicians, pharmacists, and patients to work together seamlessly to enhance the quality and continuity of care. A health system operated specialty pharmacy can also increase patient access to limited distribution drugs.

4. How do we meet data requirements?

Specialty drug therapies are the frontier of modern medicine, and manufacturers are seeking insight into how these medications perform. It is far more efficient for manufacturers to collect data from one network representing many health systems than from each individual health system. That’s were Acentrus Specialty makes a difference. With the power of a larger data pool comes the leverage to access limited distribution drugs. The Acentrus data team helps clients integrate electronic health records, pharmacy dispensing records and other patient information.

5. What’s the investment?

Starting a specialty pharmacy program can be complicated so it helps to know best practices. Acentrus connects clients with services at renegotiated terms that are very favorable, and to help clients determine everything from square footage needs, staffing, inventory and equipment needs, to operational processes, regulatory and accreditation hurdles, and more. Our portfolio of agreements, collaborative works groups, webinars, and other services are designed to guide a new specialty pharmacy startup process and maintain success.

6. How do we get started?

Acentrus Specialty is an integrated delivery network and health system solution serving the largest and fastest-growing area of health care costs: specialty pharmacy. Acentrus empowers network members to deliver exceptional, cost-effective, local, integrated care through a comprehensive portfolio of services and products. For more information, visit

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