Dignity Health and Shields Health Solutions announce specialty pharmacy services expansion

San Francisco based Dignity Health recently announced that it will expand its new Dignity Health Specialty Pharmacy program in partnership with Shields Health Solutions, a specialty pharmacy integrator and accelerator.

Dignity’s Specialty Pharmacy Program began distribution and management of medications for 20 complex conditions late last year at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center campus in Phoenix, AZ. The program targets diseases that require close monitoring and support over long periods including arthritis, cancer, cystic fibrosis, MS, transplants, other chronic conditions.


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Dignity hopes that by bringing the management and coordination of these medication in house, it can impact costs and overall health outcomes through better adherence to complex regimens. Explains Peggy Sanborn Dignity Health’s VP of Strategic Growth, M&A, and Partnership Integration,

“As we look to the future of how healthcare is delivered across the U.S., it is clear that the continuum of care must extend beyond the doctor/patient relationship when treating complex disease states. Our specialty pharmacy partnership with Shields provides Dignity Health’s patients with an additional layer of care to help manage many chronic conditions. When patients have easier access to affordable prescription medications and the support of an integrated care team, the overall health of our communities improves.”

Over the past few months the specialty pharmacy has expanded service to Sacramento and has plans to expand to six additional markets in the near future with St. Joseph’s serving as a hub. Eventually, Dignity’s parent, CommonSpirit Health plans to implement the model nationwide.

The fully-integrated hospital-based specialty pharmacy model enables a central point of care for Dignity Health’s patients and their care teams, and is available 24/7, providing patients with a high level of support from clinical pharmacists. With full access to medical records and drug panels, pharmacists can collaborate with patients to more easily manage their conditions. In addition, a dedicated patient liaison helps patients sort through insurance coverage, financial assistance, travel, coordinating clinic appointments, medication delivery, and home care.

From its history of coordinating similar moves to in-house specialty pharmacy services nationwide, Shields Health Solutions has found that the specialty pharmacy model can reduce medication co-payments from hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, to an average of co-pay of $10. Time-to-therapy can also be reduced from several weeks to an average of two days, and physician administrative paperwork can be reduced by thousands of hours, allowing providers to focus their saved time on patient care.