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An interview with Ateb’s Frank Sheppard

Pharmacy Driving Healthy Outcomes 

Frank Sheppard serves as chief executive officer and president of Ateb, and has more than 20 years of experience managing, developing, and integrating software solutions for the retail and telecommunications industries. As one of the Ateb founders, Sheppard has made the core of Ateb’s medication synchronization program the integration of “big data” into actionable steps through appointment-based models (ABMs). In this interview with ComputerTalk’s Maggie Lockwood, Sheppard talks about Ateb’s ABM platform and Time My Meds® medication synchronization program. 

CT: Let’s start by telling us Ateb’s mission.

Sheppard: Ateb strongly believes that reducing healthcare costs through improved pharmacy engagement is the answer to realizing true savings in the new healthcare ecosystem. As the industry’s leading provider of pharmacy-based patient care solutions, Ateb’s intuitive platform enables our pharmacy partners to transform to an appointment-based model to improve medication adherence and the overall quality of care to benefit patients, pharmacies, and ultimately, payers. 

CT: How is Ateb leading the industry and what makes your solutions unique?

Sheppard: Ateb is an innovator in combining technology, operations, analytics, and workflow into a seamless patient care solution. At the core of Ateb’s ABM platform and Time My Meds medication synchronization program is the integration of “big data” into actionable steps. To effectively help patients achieve better outcomes, the pharmacy must be able to identify which patients need what intervention and when. The only way to do this is to leverage the tremendous amount of data available to pharmacy and make that data easy to use.

Ateb’s collaboration with our partner pharmacies to implement ABM solutions has demonstrated remarkable, measured improvements in Medicare Star Ratings, reduced hospital readmissions, increased immunization rates, comprehensive medication review (CMR) completion rates, and HEDIS [The Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set] scores.

CT: How is your technology revving up the pharmacist’s role in providing clinical services?

Sheppard: Ateb’s portfolio of patient care solutions resides on our proprietary platform, entitled Patient Management Access Portal (PMAP). PMAP provides guidance to the pharmacy staff and allows them to document patient interventions and schedule follow-ups. Every month, the pharmacist can proactively assess their needs and establish a strategy for meeting those needs over the upcoming prescription cycle.  This strategy may include immuization services, CMR, targeted medication review, and point-of-care testing.

Ateb’s PMAP is the leading driver of the appointment-based model in pharmacy today. It is a central tool for patient intervention management, analogous to pharmacy management system use in filling prescriptions. It is a single portal for pharmacies to manage all patient interventions. It is a holistic view of the patient and of opportunities to drive beneficial patient engagement. And it is a scheduler and progress tracker for all patient care activities.

Ateb’s differentiation as a strategic partner resides in its powerhouse of pharmacy operations, technology, analytics, data integration, and clinical expertise. Ateb empowers pharmacies to harness their data and to actively, consistently, and comprehensively assist patients in managing their health. Uses include increasing the quantity and scope of vaccinations provided within their immunization programs, providing diabetes education, acquiring new patients, and expanding an existing prescription base due to improved patient adherence.

We work with our pharmacy partners to develop more effective processes to interact with patients to drive healthier patient outcomes. We also prove to health plans and payers that pharmacy is a reliable, scalable, and impactful partner in delivering better, more affordable patient health outcomes. And we identify and win new pay-for-success opportunities that remunerate them for helping patients achieve healthier outcomes.

CT: What are the benefits to the patients?

Sheppard: From the patient perspective, Ateb offers targeted patient care solutions, all geared to drive healthier outcomes, including health screenings, medication scorecards, and CMR integration. Patients also benefit from comprehensive disease management programs to engage patients in healthy living such as weight management and smoking cessation, management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, asthma, and COPD, as well as management of specialty conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, and hepatitis C.

The economic benefits of Ateb’s Time My Meds automated medication synchronization have been well documented with independent studies showing double-digit increases in the number of medications filled by patients enrolled in a synchronization program as compared to those not enrolled.  The results are documented from two studies conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). These studies found that average-days-on-therapy, a measure of medication persistence, was significantly higher in the intervention group, averaging approximately 20 additional fills per patient per year. First-fill abandonment was reduced over 90% for patients who received a prescription for a new medication that was also managed in the medication synchronization program as compared to the control group. Use of automation yielded a 35% higher enrollment rate than manual medication synchronization programs. The studies also found a greater than 50% improvement in adherence based on the number of medications achieving an 80% PDC [proportion of days covered] measurement for prescriptions included in the medication synchronization program.

By increasing patient engagement, Ateb’s pharmacy partners can reinforce positive patient behaviors, improve medication adherence and persistence, and reduce overall healthcare costs.  CT

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