Launching the Island’s First Home Delivery Pharmacy Program

Abarca, dedicated to serving over 5.3 million lives, is renowned for its commitment to revolutionizing the conventional pharmacy benefit management landscape through technology and client-centric strategies. Founded to foster a more transparent, efficient, and personalized experience for healthcare providers and patients alike, Abarca continually strives to address the evolving needs of the healthcare landscape.

Abarca recognizes the importance of meeting the requirements of patients who rely on having their prescriptions delivered to their homes. Through collaborative initiatives like Puerto Rico’s first home delivery pharmacy, the company aims to fulfill this necessity by embracing innovative solutions. Abarca’s commitment to overcoming treatment barriers faced by many patients became especially pronounced with the launch of this technology during the early stages of the pandemic.

The Challenge: Improving Medication Access in Puerto Rico

For many, having prescriptions delivered to their home is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity. Lack of mobility, access to transportation, and other social determinants impact members’ health and increase costs for health plans.

To address these obstacles and improve member experience, Abarca, in partnership with a major health insurance company, launched Puerto Rico’s first home delivery pharmacy program.

The Approach: A User-Friendly App to Order Prescriptions Directly to the Patient’s Home

Abarca embarked on the mission to enhance medication accessibility for its members by implementing a comprehensive program. Central to this initiative was the development of an intuitive, user-friendly app. This app empowers members to effortlessly order, manage, and schedule the delivery of their prescriptions directly from their smartphones or devices.

In conjunction with this user-focused app, Abarca harnessed the capabilities of Darwin, its advanced Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) technology platform. This platform not only processes claims efficiently but also provides real-time information to users, ensuring a seamless and responsive experience.

Abarca’s commitment to delivering reliable services involved close collaboration with key partners. Working closely with the insurance company and a local pharmacy network, Abarca ensured that members receive the services they need precisely when they need them. This collaborative effort also kept all stakeholders engaged, contributing to the project’s long-term success.

Beyond immediate needs, Abarca also took a forward-thinking approach by equipping members with modern technology. This not only facilitates the current prescription management process but also lays the foundation for potential future applications. The technology provided to members has the potential to serve as a platform for monitoring individuals with chronic diseases and incorporating other telemetry functions down the line.

The Results

Scheduled for launch in Spring 2020, Abarca collaborated closely with its partners to expedite the introduction of the first home delivery pharmacy service. This swift response was driven by the pressing demand for home delivery of medications during the COVID-19 public health crisis and Puerto Rico’s stringent quarantine measures.

Within the initial 30 days post-launch, the home delivery pharmacy service surpassed expectations, achieving 151% of the targeted registered members for the program. Notably, over 80% of the processed claims during this period pertained to maintenance medications. Of these, almost 60% constituted 90-day supplies, more than double the retail average. This outcome is a promising sign of sustained medication adherence among home-delivery pharmacy users.

Contrary to initial predictions that the program would predominantly attract tech-savvy millennials, it emerged that 30% of the program’s early adopters were members aged 65 or older, indicating a broader appeal across age groups.

Considering the alignment with national home-delivery pharmacy trends, there is a potential for the program to enhance medication adherence significantly and contribute to improved health outcomes for its members.

As Abarca continues to fine-tune and adapt the home delivery pharmacy service, the success of this model serves as a blueprint for the development of additional home delivery programs. These initiatives will be rooted in modern technology and user-friendly member tools to cater to the healthcare needs of members in Puerto Rico and extend these benefits to members across the United States.