Navimedix offers free pharmacy connection

November 10, 2006

You don't have an e-prescribing program, but wish you could reduce the number of pharmacy calls regarding refills? Help may be on the way. Navimedix, a national company that provides web-based, health plan-sponsored administrative services, recently started offering a free service that connects physician offices online with pharmacies for prescription renewals, patient drug histories, and formulary lookups. The only thing physicians have to do is allow Navimedix to include some patient care messages from plans and disease management companies on the refill queries from pharmacies.

You don't have an e-prescribing program, but wish you could reduce the number of pharmacy calls regarding refills? Help may be on the way. Navimedix, a national company that provides web-based, health plan-sponsored administrative services, recently started offering a free service that connects physician offices online with pharmacies for prescription renewals, patient drug histories, and formulary lookups. The only thing physicians have to do is allow Navimedix to include some patient care messages from plans and disease management companies on the refill queries from pharmacies.

Navimedix links physician offices to the Surescripts network that now includes about 90 percent of chain and independent pharmacies. (Not all of these drugstores are actually online with practices, but they all have the capability.) When a pharmacy sends your office a renewal request, it can be approved and sent back electronically-without an e-prescribing program. In a pilot program that involved about 100 physician offices, says Navimedix, more than 90 percent of renewal forms were returned electronically, and the practices processed 80 percent of the requests within 24 hours.

Navimedix's financial return comes from the entities that want their care management messages to go into patient charts, explains Tom Morrison, the company's executive vice president, marketing and product management. For example, if Aetna notices a diabetic patient hasn't received an HbA1c test in the past year. Navimedix would include a message about that in the online renewal request. In a paper-based practice, that request would usually be printed out for the doctor's review and inserted into the chart. According to Morrison, this would make it more likely for the physician to notice the message when he sees the patient than if he received a list of patients needing services.

Navimedix currently contracts with Aetna, Cigna, and several Blues plans, and Morrison says it's about to announce a new deal with one of the largest insurers in the country. It's also in discussions with disease management firms. But you don't have to participate with any of Navimedix's clients to use its online renewal service. You just need an Internet connection.