Though the pharmaceutical replacement programs have been around for years, ferreting out which company will pay for which drug is time consuming and ever changing. In the past to recoup the cost of these drugs, patient assistance representatives would need to go through each manufacturers criteria and application process. However, with the NeedyMeds program that information is compiled on one Web site and all the criteria are at the hospital representative or patients fingertips. By using a database such as NeedyMeds, hospitals can recoup some of their losses while ensuring their patients get the drugs they need.
"More hospitals are using this, and it just makes sense from the point of view of good medical care, as well as financially. Ultimately, the biggest benefit is that the patient won't likely be coming back into the emergency room," notes Sagall.
The big question isn't whether you want to save money in your pharmacy line item or whether you want to be sure your patients are getting the best care they deserve. In recent years, these programs have given away as much as $6 billion in pharmaceuticals to patients and hospitals, so the big question is how much of that pie should you be getting for your facility, and are you getting all that you are entitled to?