As an industry-wide recession grips the health care sector, some hospitals are looking beyond providing care to make money.
Late last month, software developed by Henry Ford Health for specialty pharmacies launched nationwide. Henry Ford's pharmacy group developed the software, which aids pharmacies that specialize in managing pharmaceuticals that are high cost or very complex, in 2013.
DromosPTM aids specialty pharmacies in finding financial assistance for expensive prescriptions as well as provides input points to monitor whether a patient needs a drug and when they need it.
In the years after its creation, DromosPTM expanded across all of Henry Ford's specialty pharmacies and its innovation division smelled a larger return on investment was possible, deciding to shop it around to potential buyers that could license the technology and take it nationwide, said Joe Jankowski, senior advisor to the Henry Ford Health Innovation Institute, with plans to expand.
But no software companies emerged, so Henry Ford created a spinoff company called Semita (which is Latin for pathway. Dromos is Greek for avenue) to commercialize DromosPTM.
In 2019, Washington state-based CarepathRx, which is owned by private equity firm Nautic Partners, acquired Semita to expand its use outside of Michigan-based Henry Ford.
DromosPTM is now used by seven hospital systems, Jankowski said, with plans to expand.
Henry Ford maintained a minority stake in Semita and receives a royalty fee for use of DromosPTM.
The technology is already bolstering the hospitals bottom line, bringing in more than $5 million in revenue to the system. While just a drop in the system's massive topline of nearly $6 billion, the sales are unencumbered compared to the very small margin enjoyed by hospitals in providing care.
"Operating margins are in the low single digits," Jankowksi said. "Nationally, you're seeing hospitals diversify revenue as quickly as they can. They need free cash flow, so getting in revenue without the costs of providing care is now very important."
Jankowski said DromosPTM is projected to bring in $20 million for the health system in the coming years.