August 2, 2021

Selecting a Specialty Data Aggregator: Best Practices

By John Giannouris
Published Online: Monday, Nov 27, 2017

In the case of a limited distribution product launch, consider the benefits of longitudinal patient tracking (complete de-identified tracking of the patient journey). Look to a data aggregator to provide Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)–compliant de-identification across each data source, thereby ensuring that a consistent identifier is used across the entire patient journey for accurate reporting. Leading aggregators will provide flexibility with this process, allowing the de-identification to occur at either the aggregator’s HIPAA-compliant facility or the specialty provider. This process can be critical to satisfying the individual data policies at a specialty pharmacy network’s provider locations, with respect to how they handle protected health information, and guarding an organization from liability by complying with legal and regulatory standards. 

Once the distribution strategy is set, an aggregator should play a key role in the contracting process with the specialty pharmacy network, providing guidance and recommending data standards and metrics to include in purchasing and service agreements.

Contracting Guidance

When selecting a data aggregator, look for one that offers consulting services prior to launch to help streamline the contracting process and assist in constructing agreements with clear data standards and enforcement and compliance leverage. This partner will provide insight into key performance indicators, including metrics to monitor both patient services and the quality of the data reported by the specialty provider. Well-defined data exhibits can then be included in the contracts that delineate data elements to be reported, along with quality and patient de-identification requirements. If performance incentives are engineered into the agreements, ensure the aggregator can support the process of measuring compliance and, ideally, automate the performance reporting with on-demand access or sharing with specialty provider partners.

ValueCentric is working with numerous manufacturers that are launching their first specialty product. Over the past year, several manufacturers have successfully launched, and the team is working with many more preparing for launch. With each of these partnerships, the ValueCentric team was engaged from the data contracting process to launch. By involving the team early, manufacturers were able to hit the ground running, using actionable data to monitor performance and improve overall patient care. 

Reporting and Analytics

The data aggregator is ultimately responsible for the usability of the data, which is accomplished through patient-monitoring metrics and quality control reporting that allow the manufacturer to quickly pinpoint and address issues affecting patient care. The data aggregator will provide a means to measure the following as they relate to quality data.

About the Specialty Pharmacy Times Industry Guide

The Specialty Pharmacy Times Industry Guide includes comprehensive editorial content relative to all specialty pharmacy stakeholders. Content includes information relative to market trends, commercialization, distribution, order to cash, HUB Services, managed care strategies and DIR fees. The guide also includes profiles, and a complete list of stakeholders along the patient journey: specialty pharmacies, wholesaler distributors, manufacturers, support services, group purchasing, and trade associations.

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