OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy and Captify Health Launch Innovative Patient Management Solution to Reduce Healthcare Costs After Surgery

With approximately 30 million operations being performed annually in the United States, OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy, dedicated to delivering excellence and value in healthcare, and Captify Health, a provider of patient educatOptiMed-SpecialtyPhamacy-2Cion and adherence services, have teamed together to launch a new, revolutionary patient program that aims to lessen complications, improve outcomes and reduce hospitalization costs after surgery.

The program offers patients and providers peace of mind both before and after surgery by simplifying and streamlining the medication management and education process. It accomplishes this by supplying medication and patient education in smaller, more manageable pieces that are timely, convenient and easier for patients to follow. It also encourages patient engagement by empowering them to participate in their own recovery. Results from initial studies show that patients are better prepared and educated the day of surgery, better understand what medication to take and when, recover faster, and have a better overall patient experience.  

This pro-active, innovative program is in direct response to a rapidly evolving healthcare industCHry striving to individualize medical care, improve patient outcomes and lower health care costs. This movement, known as Early Recovery Protocol (ERP), finds ways to better control pain, reduce patient stress before/after surgery, increase patient mobility post-surgery, and reduce mortality and length of hospital stays.

Several major healthcare institutions have signed up for this program due to its ability to lower the risk of hospital re-admission, decrease the chance for medication confusion, reduce stress on patients and caregivers, and help lessen the financial burden on healthcare systems.  

This evidence-based program is part of OptiMed’s and Captify Health’s mission to offer value-based cost savings by demonstrating improvement in measureable outcomes to the healthcare industry while serving as innovative leaders in disease management and individualized care.

For more information about how the patient program works, or to set one up in your own institution, contact OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy at 877-385-0535 or visit www.captifyhealth.com.

Why Baby Boomers Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C

People born from 1945-1965 are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). While anyone can get Hepatitis C, people born during these years are at greater risk, which is the reason the CDC encourages baby boomers to get tested.

It is not completely understood why baby boomers have higher rates of Hepatitis C. Most boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hepatitis C were the highest.

Hepatitis C is primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Many baby boomers could have become infected from contaminated blood and blood products before widespread screening of the blood supply in 1992 and universal precautions were adopted. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if only once in the past.

Why should baby boomers get tested? Consider these facts:

  • Liver disease, liver cancer and deaths from Hepatitis C are on the rise
  • The longer people live with Hepatitis C, the more likely they are to develop serious, life-threatening liver disease
  • Getting tested can help people learn if they are infected and get them into life-saving care and treatment

For many people, treatment is available that can cure Hepatitis C and prevent liver damage, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. The only way to know if you have Hepatitis C is to get tested. For more information about Hepatitis C or to get screened, talk to your primary physician or visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Hepatitis C: Testing & Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), an estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C. Although there is currently no vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C, you can reduce your chances of becoming infected.

Avoid sharing or reusing needles, syringes or any other equipment to prepare and inject drugs, steroids, hormones or other substances. Avoid using personal items that may have come into contact with an infected person’s blood, such as razors, nail clippers or toothbrushes. Also, do not get tattoos or body piercings from an unlicensed facility or in an informal setting.

So why is it important to be tested for Hepatitis C? The answer lies in these statistics:

  • Millions of Americans have Hepatitis C but most don’t know it
  • 80% of people who get infected develop a chronic or lifelong infection
  • People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms and many can live with an infection for decades without feeling sick
  • Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants
  • There are new treatments available that can eradicate the virus

A number of people are at greater risk for Hepatitis C:

  • Anyone who has injected drugs, even just once or many years ago
  • Anyone with certain medical conditions, such as chronic liver disease and HIV/AIDS
  • Anyone who has received donated blood or organs before 1992
  • Anyone born from 1945 through 1965
  • Anyone with abnormal liver tests or liver disease
  • Health and safety workers who have been exposed to blood on the job through a needle stick or injury with a sharp object
  • Anyone on hemodialysis
  • Anyone born to a mother with Hepatitis C

Doctors use a blood test, called a Hepatitis C Antibody Test, to find out if a person has ever been infected. Sometimes called the Anti-HCV Test, it looks for antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected. If the antibody test is reactive, an additional blood test, called an RNA or PCR test, is needed to determine if a person is currently infected. If the test is negative, the person does not have Hepatitis C. If the test is positive, this means a person currently has Hepatitis C and should talk to a doctor experienced in diagnosing and treating the disease.

Patients can also be tested using a cheek swab if they are squeamish about needles.

How is Chronic Hepatitis C Treated?

Several medications, called antivirals, can be used to treat chronic Hepatitis C and appear to be more effective and have fewer side effects than previous options. However, it is important to first be checked by a specialist who will determine appropriate medical care. Decisions about starting treatment are based on many factors: type of virus, the condition of the liver, etc.

For more information about Hepatitis C or to get screened, talk to your primary physician or visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis. Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

What is Hepatitis C?

The liver’s function is to process nutrients, detoxify chemicals, filter blood, fight infections, and metabolize drugs. Hepatitis C is caused by an infection of the liver that results from the Hepatitis C virus. When the liver is infected by the virus, the liver becomes inflamed, which can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer.

Hepatitis C is known as the “silent epidemic” because most people who have it don’t realize they are infected. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis C causes both acute and chronic infection. “Acute” refers to the first several months after someone is infected and can range in severity from a mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization. For reasons unknown, some infected people spontaneously clear the virus within six months of infection without any treatment. However, most infected people are not able to clear the virus and thus develop a lifelong infection. Treatment options are available to these people to help eliminate the virus and prevent further liver damage.

How is Hepatitis C Spread?

Hepatitis C is spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. Most people become infected by sharing needles, syringes and other drug paraphernalia. Before widespread screening of the blood supply in 1992, Hepatitis C was also spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. While uncommon, poor infection control has resulted in outbreaks in healthcare settings. Sexual transmission of Hepatitis C is possible although it’s rare. Hepatitis C can also be spread when getting tattoos and body piercings in unlicensed facilities, informal settings, or with non-sterile instruments. Approximately 6% of infants born to infected mothers will get Hepatitis C. It is important to note that Hepatitis C is not spread by casual contact, kissing, hugging, sneezing, coughing, breastfeeding or sharing food, eating utensils or glasses.

What Are Symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Many people with Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms do occur, they can include fever, feeling tired, not wanting to eat, upset stomach, vomiting, dark urine, grey-colored stool, joint pain, and yellow skin and eyes.

When Do Symptoms Occur?

If symptoms occur with acute infection, they can appear anytime from two weeks to six months after infection. If symptoms occur with chronic Hepatitis C, they take decades to develop and are often a sign of advanced liver disease.

Testing is the only way to determine if you are infected with Hepatitis C. It is performed through a blood test. More about testing and prevention will be discussed tomorrow in the next series of articles, Hepatitis C: Testing & Prevention.

For more information or to get screened for Hepatitis C, talk to your primary physician or visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis. Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

World Hepatitis Day is July 28th

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Worldwide, viral hepatitis is among the top 10 infectious disease killers, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Nearly 1.4 million deaths occur each year around the globe primarily from cirrhosis or liver cancer caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which count for approximately 80% of the world’s liver cancer.

Many who are chronically infected are unaware of their infection and can live with chronic viral hepatitis for decades before having symptoms or feeling sick.

The World Health Assembly designated July 28th each year as World Hepatitis Day to bring awareness to this disease. The theme for this year’s global campaign is Elimination, with a goal to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

To help raise awareness of this hidden epidemic and strengthen efforts in prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis, OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy will feature a series of articles the week of July 25 about hepatitis C to promote World Hepatitis Day on July 28th. We invite you to stop by our site each day this week to learn more about the disease.

For more information or to schedule a screening for Hepatitis C, talk to your healthcare professional or visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

OptiMed Pharmacy Proud of URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation

In October 2015, OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy received full Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation from URAC, a healthcare accrediting organization based out of Washington D.C, that assesses quality standards for the healthcare industry. URAC’s Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation provides a symbol of excellence for organizations to showcase their commitment to quality and accountability.

“This accreditation validates our mission of providing excellence in quality and patient management,” says OptiMed founder and CEO Andrew Reeves. “This allows us to better help healthcare providers and payers across the country optimize patient outcomes through exceptional care.”

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy provides patients with specialty medications along with customized patient education, access to financial assistance, and ongoing monitoring and support. These services are delivered by Clinical Pharmacists with advanced training, Licensed Certified Pharmacy Technicians, and critical patient-support service personnel. The pharmacy is best-in-class for chronic or rare specialty diseases such as Crohn’s disease, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and more.

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy also holds specialty pharmacy accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and is licensed to provide services to patients in 47 states.

“We applaud OptiMed Pharmacy on achieving URAC full Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation,” said URAC President and CEO Kylanne Green. “In today’s healthcare market, URAC accreditation provides a mark of distinction for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to quality healthcare.”

URAC promotes a high standard of pharmacy quality and patient care through the standardization of processes and a drive for continuous quality improvement. Accreditation reinforces best clinical and organizational practices for ensuring appropriate and safe medication use and optimal patient outcomes. Evidence of therapy counseling, disease education, care coordination, comprehensive patient education, and adherence management are critical for assuring successful patient medication therapy management and safety – and all are standards validated by URAC’s Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation.

OptiMed to Take Part in Summer Hop Weekend

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Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc.’s annual four-day “Summer Sidewalk Sales” will take place this year from August 4-7, 2016 on the Kalamazoo Mall in downtown Kalamazoo. Dozens of businesses will join together to feature bargain basement deals that can only be found downtown.

OptiMed Pharmacy will participate in the sales event from August 4th-6th, featuring clearances such as readers, sunglasses, pet products, cleaning products, Kalamazoo-made products and more! We will even feature never-before-seen discounts on our Glo-Professional skincare and make-up line.

Stop by to take advantage of these deals!

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy Announces Expansion of its National Headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Construction PhotoA new 34,000-square-foot facility is currently being constructed along 9th Street in Oshtemo Township to house OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy’s national headquarters and specialty pharmacy business. The project will generate approximately $1.2 million in capital investment and create approximately 80 new jobs.

OptiMed Pharmacy previously expanded its specialty business into the current location at 154 S. Kalamazoo Mall in March 2013. “The Kalamazoo community has been pivotal in our identity and extremely supportive of us for many years,” said Andy Reeves, R.Ph., CEO of OptiMed. “We recognize the significant role that the people of Kalamazoo and area businesses have played in our growth and success. The support of this community has been invaluable to our organization.”

Given OptiMed’s rapid growth, the need for expanding its current operations and national headquarters will soon be realized. The new headquarters is expected to be completed by October 1, 2016 and will feature a state-of-the-art dispensing system, an expansive patient management center and patient support services, and offices to house the corporation’s executive team.  

“The new headquarters will maximize our ability to continue to provide exceptional patient care services to those individuals living with rare and complex health conditions,” Reeves said. “It is our privilege to continue to serve the greater Kalamazoo community in this capacity.”

For information about OptiMed or to apply for available positions, visit www.optimedspecialtyrx.com.

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy Extends its Reach of Patient-Centered Care

AT Logo HiResOptiMed Specialty Pharmacy, a privately-held specialty pharmacy headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, announced today the acquisition of the Specialty Pharmacy Business line of Advanced Therapeutics, a leading health care company in California.

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy aims to help patients, providers and stakeholders navigate the intricacies of specialty medication therapy, while keeping patient outcomes at the forefront. OptiMed specializes in treating rare and complex medical conditions. This acquisition allows OptiMed to expand its territory and better serve the patients located in the western half of the United States.

“We’re very excited for this opportunity to expand the delivery of the innovative patient-centered care we’re known for, including our customized patient education, access to patient financial assistance services, and ongoing monitoring and support,” said Andy Reeves, owner and CEO of OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy. “This partnership will add to our efficiencies and increase access to our value-based pharmacy model.”

OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy, accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) and URAC, has over 20 years of experience collaborating with providers, payers, manufacturers and the community to offer personalized solutions to meet non-traditional patient needs. For more information, visit www.optimedspecialtyrx.com or call 877-385-0535.