The New York-based company comprises 32 retail community pharmacies that also offer infusion therapy and home nursing care plan management services, a central specialty pharmacy support network, and a mail order operation. 

BioScrip was formed from the merger of two corporations: Chronimed and MIM Corporation. President and COO Rick Smith said the merger brought together two companies with distinct strengths. Chronimed’s community stores and strong clinical reputation with the HIV/AIDS community, as well as other chronic diseases, complemented MIM’s offering, including its specialty pharmacy and home infusion capabilities and robust care management program. 

“When the two companies came together, they created an organization with national reach and local presence,” said Smith. “We are now able to service the entire continuum of care.”

Today, BioScrip’s main competitive advantage lies within the walls of each of its community pharmacies. With pharmacists trained in a high-touch clinical background but still focused on providing local and individualized attention to patients, the company is well positioned to offer patients a high level of quality in care management. 

Smith said that unlike other retail pharmacists, BioScrip’s pharmacists are expected to get out into their communities to do consultations and get involved with community-based patient organizations. Combined with the company’s unwavering focus on clinical quality, its access to limited-distribution drugs, and its strong capability for data management and reporting, BioScrip is quickly becoming a retail leader in clinical pharmacy solutions for the specialty patient and a first choice partner for payors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, patients, and referral sources. 

BioScrip’s unique clinical and care management programs help patients comply with therapies while offering a strong platform to facilitate good outcomes. 

“By being a good partner to patients, physician referral sources, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and the payor community in terms of making sure patients are taking the right drugs and having an appropriate level of administrative help, we ensure patients experience the right outcomes while defining our successes as a whole rather than a sum of our parts,” Smith said. 

Minimize costs

Although many of BioScrip’s competitors aspire to become specialists in chronic disease management, the company’s unique approach at the local level supported by its central service operations enables it to list the service as a core competency. “At our pharmacies, we don’t sell grocery items, and we only carry a minimum of OTC items,” said Smith. “Our primary focus is patient support, patient consultation, and compliance with regimented therapy to minimize future healthcare costs.”

To maintain this focus, the role of the BioScrip pharmacist must go beyond filling prescription orders; s/he must also be an expert on disease states, medication use information, common side effects, and drug interactions. As such, each of the company’s pharmacists can assist patients with drug selection, dosing, compliance, and adherence, ensuring the prevention of adverse drug interactions, drug duplication, and adverse side effects. 

To support its operating model, BioScrip provides regular internal training to all pharmacist staff, including continuing education and clinical services programs that look at each of the company’s covered therapies, such as chronic kidney disease, Crohn’s Disease, organ transplant, and ulcerative colitis, to name a few. By developing internal training alongside information that’s available through other clinical resources, including pharmaceutical manufacturer support, the company ensures its pharmacists are always up to date and able to handle patient questions or pharmacy needs. 

BioScrip also offers its customers a 24/7 centralized customer service hotline, which is staffed by specially trained pharmacists, to answer any after-hours questions patients might have. Bioscrip’s recent investment in a next-generation clinical management and patient service system upgrade ensures the company will continue to meet its care management objectives in the future. 

“If we invest in our clinical programs and continue to develop a reputation for strong clinical leadership, our model and solutions will continue to benefit us and improve our patients’ lives,” Smith said.

A higher value

BioScrip’s pharmacies play a major role in the lives of their physician customers, helping them streamline the operational aspects of medication delivery. The company can deliver medications to a physician’s office or a patient’s home and can reduce physician office administration tasks by handling benefits coordination to give physicians more time for patient care. 

More importantly, BioScrip sends patients refill reminders, increasing medication compliance applicable to prescribed regimens. To further enhance these abilities, BioScrip is establishing clinical centers of excellence in each of its 32 pharmacies. 

“The centers will include an internal certification program with competencies in therapies and chronic care programs,” Smith said. “The idea is to look at how we can add value by having a level of achievement and standards at all of our locations to continue to evolve and meet the needs of the marketplace.”

Smith said industry quality benchmarks provide a reference point to quality, but BioScrip’s goal is to be above those industry benchmarks to establish itself as a market leader in clinical programs and care. Developing and adhering to standards higher than the industry norm will also set BioScrip apart from other retailers venturing into retail pharmacy as a side business. 

“If we’re a strong clinical leader and we’re able to execute with products and service solutions of the highest quality, the physicians, payors, and patients we partner with, as well as the manufacturers we help launch and distribute products for, will continue to rely on us and see our value versus that of the company down the street,” Smith said.