Success stories

University of Tennessee Medical Center 

UT Medical Center recovers costs while providing high-quality indigent care.

The challenge
Reducing financial losses associated with uncompensated costs for drugs and medical devices while providing high-quality, cost-effective healthcare to disadvantaged patients


Our solution
Comprehensive combination of pharmaceutical sourcing, enhanced management of assessment and inventory processes, participation in the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and operating an on-site retail pharmacy


The outcome
  • Recovered nearly one million dollars in indigent medication costs in a single year
  • Recovered more than $35,000 in costs for implantable medical devices (IMDs) in four months
  • Required no capital investments and no increase in staffing
  • Provides effective management of medication and IMD supply chains

University of Tennessee Medical Center

The University of Tennessee Medical Center is the Knoxville region’s only academic medical center, Magnet® recognized hospital and Level I Trauma Center. The 581-bed hospital also is home to the region’s only dedicated heart hospital, only adult and pediatric transplant center, a Joint Commission/American Heart Association recognized Comprehensive Stroke Center, houses the region’s only Level III private-room neonatal intensive care unit, and serves as a regional perinatal center.

UT Medical Center’s six Centers of Excellence provide comprehensive care to patients. The dedicated professionals at the medical center thrive in a fast-paced, challenging environment, where expert commitment plays a critical role in the hospital’s ongoing success.


The challenge: Capturing lost revenue while providing high quality care

UT Medical Center is a major academic medical center offering general, specialty, and sub-specialty care in a full range of medical fields. The hospital is an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, East Tennessee’s first dedicated heart hospital, and the area’s only Level I Trauma Center.
Providing superior treatments and healthcare support to residents of the East Tennessee region, UT Medical Center also serves as a referral center for Southeast Kentucky and Western North Carolina.

UT Medical Center has grown in size and service areas over the years, and one area that has also grown is the cost of uncompensated care—including the cost of drugs and medical devices—provided to indigent patients.

As part of an ongoing strategy to enhance quality of care and organizational efficiency, UT Medical Center began to look for solutions to provide cost-effective care to indigent patients while recovering some of the associated costs.


Our solution: AmerisourceBergen Patient Assistance Solutions

After a process of due diligence, UT Medical Center chose the AmerisourceBergen Pharmacy Healthcare Solutions (PHS) consulting team to provide Patient Assistance Solutions, a turnkey program of cost recovery for eligible expenses for dispensed medications and specified medical devices. With Patient Assistance Solutions, UT Medical Center has a dedicated AmerisourceBergen RecoveRxTM team handling every aspect of the medication recovery process including identification of eligible patients and products, completion and submission of applications, and ongoing management of data and paperwork using AmerisourceBergen IndiCareTM Internet-based software.

“UT Medical Center had been working with AmerisourceBergen for many years for pharmaceutical sourcing,” said Kim Mason, Director of Pharmacy, UT Medical Center. “The hospital expanded that relationship to include Patient Assistance Solutions.

“The implementation of Patient Assistance Solutions went smoothly. We met with the AmerisourceBergen team and connected them with our financial, patient accounts, and IT groups. We’ve expanded the recovery effort to additional facilities and off-campus clinics and the program is quite seamless on our end,” Mason stated.

“The AmerisourceBergen staff has been very helpful. When we have questions or issues, the team discusses pros and cons and provides guidance—their customer service is commendable.”

AmerisourceBergen has continued to identify areas to expand the program to help UT Medical Center recover even more costs. Recently, implantable medical devices (IMDs) were added to the Patient Assistance program.

“Since the implementation of Patient Assistance, the AmerisourceBergen Ambulatory Pharmacy solution team has also helped us plan, design, and open a full-service retail pharmacy located here in the lobby of UT Medical Center,” Mason said.


The outcome: Combining excellent indigent care with cost recovery

“For indigent patients, AmerisourceBergen Patient Assistance Solutions ease some of the burden of paying for expensive medications and devices; for the hospital it is an effective way to recover costs that otherwise would be lost.”

We’ve had no difficulty justifying the value of the cost recovery program: we can show a net impact on dollars that otherwise would have been lost, and we’re achieving all this without adding staff. AmerisourceBergen Patient Assistance Solutions is a significant benefit for our eligible indigent patients and for UT Medical Center as an organization.

Kim Mason, Director of Pharmacy, UT Medical Center
“Patient Assistance is very easy to manage. AmerisourceBergen provides detailed monthly reporting to us and to the hospital finance department; so, while we are relieved of the day-to-day tasks, we are kept current on the results of the program,” Mason stated.
 
Most organizations lack the internal resources to explore every avenue to recover costs, and Patient Assistance Solutions provides experienced professionals to fill that role. “Having a specialty team that focuses on cost recovery and stays up-to-date with opportunities and processes is very valuable,” said Aurelia Biggs, Administrative Coordinator, UT Medical Center. “It would be very time-consuming for our staff to address this, and with the help of the AmerisourceBergen experts, the minimal amount of work on our end is outweighed by the cost recovery that’s achieved on a monthly basis.”
 
Results of the AmerisourceBergen Patient Assistance Solutions at UT Medical Center include:
 
  • Recovery of nearly one million dollars in a single year on recovered indigent medication costs
  • Two new areas for recovery: $200,000 in recovery for insurance denials; $35,000 in costs for IMDs in four months
  • Required no capital investment and no increase in staffing
  • Provides effective management of medication and IMD supply chains to facilitate delivery of high-quality cost-effective indigent care
“The relationship with AmerisourceBergen is comprehensive—expanding from pharmaceutical sourcing to help achieve significant cost reductions to the convenience of our new retail pharmacy,” Mason said. “The UT Medical Center partnership with AmerisourceBergen continues to benefit us as a hospital and as employees, helping the hospital provide the excellent service to patients that our community has come to expect.”