Executive Insights on Access and Adherence Programs


Q&A: The dynamic patient assistance landscape.

What does it take to commit to patient assistance in the changing healthcare delivery environment? In this question-and-answer session, Lash Group president Tracy Foster reveals some market trends that will impact patient access and adherence, as well as the role of technology in streamlining access and adherence programs.

What trends are you seeing in the marketplace, and how do you anticipate them affecting patient access and adherence?
At Lash Group, we have identified three key trends that are affecting the marketplace and the way we support patients, providers and our clients - both in the short term and long term. First of all, global trends/shifts in healthcare (such as the increase of biosimilars) are impacting the decisions we make here in the United States. And, it is becoming increasingly important that we take notice and learn from what is happening in other markets around the world. Secondly, there is a need for patients to become more savvy consumers when it comes to making choices about their healthcare. With the changing coverage landscape and the many new options now available as a result of healthcare reform, it is up to the patient to navigate plans and then select the best fit for their needs. Since their choices will impact their access to treatment, Lash Group is supporting patients through a variety of services, including our ACE Services Center - a program designed to help patients understand their healthcare options in order to make an informed decision. Finally, there is a need for manufacturers to evolve support services that result in a higher level of patient engagement. Not only must patients be more knowledgeable when selecting their healthcare plan, but they also need to be active participants in their own care. Technology and automated services make the process more efficient and easier for patients to stay connected. And, pairing automation with high-touch approaches to interaction with patients ensures that we are reaching them on multiple levels in order to encourage continued adherence and successful health outcomes.

How is the role of technology evolving, and what are the challenges and benefits associated with electronic patient services?
One of the biggest changes that we will see in our industry over the next five years is the use of more and more technology to drive patient access and adherence. The deployment and adoption rates of technology such as ePrescribing, ePrior Authorization and EMR/EHR integration will significantly increase the time providers can spend on patient care, and reduce the industry's reliance on manual and time-consuming processes. Lash Group is leading this technology shift. We're excited about how the adoption of our eConcierge Platform - a suite of eServices - will positively impact patients, speed time-to-treatment, and support improved efficiency within the healthcare system as a whole.

How is your company working to instill a commitment to patient assistance and access in your corporate culture?
I believe that one of the biggest challenges we face in our industry is the constantly shifting dynamics that require our leaders and associates alike to think and work differently. Given the rapid rate of change, it can be challenging to recruit and retain talented associates who embrace that change. At Lash Group, we have worked to provide a culture that promotes core values like collaboration, innovation, and accountability; encourages fun; ensures integrity; and rewards performance. And, we've made considerable investments in associate engagement, training, and quality improvement programs. As a result, our associates not only have the skills required for today, but they are also fully prepared to thrive as the next wave of change impacts our business. Although we've constantly evolved our recruitment and associate development programs, one thing has remained constant since I joined Lash Group twenty years ago… That is our associates' commitment to the patient. And in everything we do, we take a patient-centric approach. This focus on the patient has served us well, and I believe it will continue to be key to our success for years to come.

What was the best career advice you ever received?
Someone told me once that culture matters, and that is something I have found to be true. As an employee, it is important to seek out a company culture that aligns with your personal values and goals. As a leader, it is our priority to nurture a culture of aligned goals and values.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
One of the things that I am most proud of over the course of my career is that I have led our company's growth from 30 associates in 1996 - when I joined our Charlotte office - to nearly 3,000 associates today located in five state-of-the-art operations centers, as well as remote.



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