Ascension is expanding its pharmacy services as it aims to improve medication adherence, the Catholic health system announced Thursday.
Ascension Rx—the newly launched brand for its national pharmacy—offers specialty medication packaging and delivery, infusion therapy and medication management, including financial aid coordination. A new specialty pharmacy in Austin, Texas is slated to open next spring, which will provide prior authorization, medication management assistance for providers and patient consults with clinical pharmacists, among other wraparound services.
Ascension, which has more than 140 hospitals across 19 states, is also working on a centralized national mail order pharmacy service, executives said.
"A fully integrated pharmacy solution can improve medication access and adherence, leading to enhanced health outcomes; prevent avoidable hospital admissions, readmissions and emergency departments visits; and lower overall cost of care," Dr. Baligh Yehia, president of Ascension Medical Group, said in prepared remarks.
More insurers are paying pharmacists as providers as some states roll out laws that foster payment for pharmacist services. The goal, in part, is to extend healthcare access to rural and underserved communities and better manage chronic conditions to stem hospitalizations.
Ascension Rx will align its pharmacy teams with clinicians to ensure patients receive the right medication at the right time, at an affordable cost, across all care settings, executives said.
"Over the past five years, we have rebranded our care sites and services across the country to make it easier for patients to navigate their health and wellness and get the care they need," Ascension CEO Joseph Impicciche said in prepared remarks. "Extending that connection to physicians and pharmacists is the logical next step to improve people's health and give them greater peace of mind."