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Shields Health Solutions and ExceleraRx Corp. Join Forces to Advance Health System Specialty Pharmacy

Serving 60+ health systems and academic medical centers, the combined organization addresses 700+ hospitals that account for the opportunity of $30B in specialty pharmacy revenue

BOSTON and MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 12, 2021 — Shields Health Solutions (Shields), the leading health system specialty pharmacy integrator, has joined forces with ExceleraRx Corp. (Excelera), a healthcare company that empowers integrated delivery networks, health systems, and academic medical centers to provide personalized, integrated care for patients with complex and chronic conditions focused on improving patient care. The combined company will now be able to reach and offer services to health systems across the U.S., spanning 43 states and 700+ hospitals, providing manufacturers with unparalleled access to data insights, and presenting payors the opportunity to help optimize care and improve outcomes for nearly one million patients with complex and chronic conditions.

"On-site, integrated specialty pharmacy is the future of complex patient care and we look forward to combining forces with Excelera to make our impact even greater. As we have shown, this model materially improves clinical outcomes for patients and reduces total medical expenses for covered patients," said Lee Cooper, CEO, Shields. "Together, our network of more than 60 of the country's top health systems, representing nearly 30% of non-profit healthcare systems based on net patient service revenues, creates an unparalleled industry-first that will enable unprecedented best practice sharing and ultimately lead to improved outcomes for complex patients."

The use of specialty medications to treat complex patients – those with multiple, chronic illnesses or rare, hard to treat diseases that require close monitoring and support – is increasing an average of 17 percent per year, and health systems across the U.S. have been building on-site, integrated specialty pharmacies to provide comprehensive, streamlined care for this growing population to improve outcomes. Since 2015, the prevalence of health system-owned specialty pharmacies in large hospitals has doubled, with nearly 90 percent of large hospitals operating a specialty pharmacy in 2019.

"Shields and Excelera have a shared vision for enabling fully integrated, on-site care for patients with complex, chronic diseases by promoting cross-industry collaboration and best practice sharing," says Troy Polan, acting CEO at Excelera. "With our combined expertise and shared passion for putting patients first, we are uniquely positioned to promote specialty pharmacy excellence in a way that reduces costs and improves outcomes while streamlining the collection of critical data and insights." 

"Shields has been a leader of the evolving specialty pharmacy industry since the company's inception eight years ago," said Jack Shields, founder and chairman of Shields. "Our acquisition of Excelera will expand our health system footprint, enhance our data and technology platform, and uniquely position Shields to spur growth in the $100B+ specialty pharmacy market."

Excelera investors and current equity holders (Avera Health, Banner Health, CommonSpirit Health, Fairview Health Services, Intermountain Healthcare, and Monument Health) are committed to the success of the combined organization and have invested in Shields as part of the transaction.

"When Fairview founded Excelera in 2012, most health systems didn't know how to start a specialty pharmacy. Now, with most health systems already operating in-house specialty pharmacies, the ongoing challenge will be continuous improvement in performance, quality and clinical outcomes as the industry continues to shift to value-based care models," said Bob Beacher, Chief Shared Clinical Services Officer at Fairview Health Services. "Providing high quality care for complex patients requires an integrated ecosystem where multidisciplinary teams consisting of pharmacists, specialists and primary care providers collaborate to provide better care and improve outcomes."

Shields and Excelera offer programs for health systems to build, operationalize and optimize integrated specialty pharmacies, as well as help manufacturers and payors access critical patient and drug performance insights. With a more personalized, high-touch approach to patient care, Shields and Excelera have found that hospital-owned specialty pharmacies dramatically simplify medication and care management for patients and can:

- Reduce medication co-payments from hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, to an average co-pay of $10

- Streamline time-to-therapy, typically from several weeks to an average of two days

- Decrease physician administrative paperwork by thousands of hours

- Improve medication adherence rates to over 90 percent, on average.

Shields and Excelera offer a variety of programs to help health systems start and grow an on-site, integrated specialty pharmacy; provide payors with access to the data and insights needed to reduce the total cost of care; and partner with manufacturers to improve drug performance and prove value. With over 60 health systems represented, the combined entity will have unparalleled insights into best practices for integrating specialty pharmacy care across over 30 disease states, including specialty, retail and rare diseases therapies.

To learn more Shields, visit: 

To learn more about Excelera, visit:

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