Health IT, Startups

Allscripts veteran joins InteliSys Health to advance drug price decision support tools

The decision support tools can help physicians engage patients and make choices that fit within their budget, no matter what the patient’s insurance is. That way, they are more likely to pick up their medication.

One aspect of the digital health boom has been the development of tools providing greater transparency for the diverse cost of medical procedures to employers and consumers. InteliSys Heath has taken its own approach to addressing the transparency debate. Instead of procedures, its focus has been prescribing medications. It has developed a set of tools to help physicians and patients make those decisions together with an eye to improving medication adherence. The business recently hired Allscripts veteran Stanley Crane as CTO.

“Cost transparency is missing in medications,” said Crane in a phone interview. “For drug prices within the same zip code, it’s stunning to see prices fluctuate by 10x.” 

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The decision support tools can help physicians engage patients and make choices that fit within their budget, no matter what the patient’s insurance is. That way, they are more likely to pick up their medication.

“The idea is to present the information at the point of care. It has the potential to save an enormous amount of money,” said Crane. “We are also factoring in insurance copays and trying to weave our way through the complex logic to help patients make better medical decisions.”

Recounting his experience and why he joined InteliSys, Crane noted among his achievements that he had and his innovation team at Allscripts built the first iPad products that could work with EHRs.

Allscripts Remote was designed to address the needs of healthcare providers when they are outside the office and on call, such as look up a patient’s chart, write prescriptions and send them to a pharmacy, jot down notes such as patient interactions, check their schedule, and send a copy of a patient’s chart to the ER.

“We felt it was critical that the healthcare provider must be able to interact with the patient, not just see what was in the chart,” Crane said. “Allscripts Remote was released with the original iPad in 2009, and was updated for iPad 1 in 2010.”

He also developed a second application for in-office use called Allscripts Wand, released in 2012. It allowed healthcare providers to do what the main EHR application could do, such as enter vitals, allergies, medical history, write orders, among other functions.

But Crane said he had an unsatisfied desire to build technologies that could help patients in a meaningful way. 

One challenge that companies seeking to provide greater price transparency for medical procedures have encountered is outdated information. Crane acknowledged it can be a problem. When a brand medication’s patent expires, paving the way for generic alternatives to hit the market, it can take time for insurers to update their formularies. There is a wait for the updated data to move from insurance companies to local EHRs. It can take days or months before all that information is updated.

Photo: Devrimb, Getty Images