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340B Decision Insights 2020 340B Decision Insights 2020
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340B Decision Insights 2020
Service Weighs Heavy in Purchasing Decisions

author - Jackson Tate
Author
Jackson Tate
author - Paul Warburton
Author
Paul Warburton
author - Sam Eaquinto
Author
Sam Eaquinto
 
January 22, 2020 | Read Time: 11  minutes

Current Time Inside Cache Tag Helper: 12/3/2022 6:45:47 AM and Model.reportId = 1382

The 340B program is considered a critical savings opportunity for covered entities and their contracted pharmacies, and over the past couple of years, KLAS has noted an increase in provider organization purchase decisions in the third-party administrator space. Some organizations are putting out RFPs because their current contracts are ending, but many others are seeking out solutions to fill the functionality and service gaps of their current 340B vendor. Newer market entrants, such as PSG and RxStrategies, represent additional options to consider alongside the already-established market players. While organizations continue to look for new technology and functionality in potential vendor partners, factors like service, support, and relationships have proven to be key to long-term customer success. 

HtmlReportContent Current Time Inside Cache Tag Helper: 12/3/2022 6:45:47 AM and Model.reportId= 1382 and Model.HtmlReportContent_LastWriteTimeUtcInTicks=637693159734096298

White-Glove Treatment Helps Verity Attract
and Retain Clients

retention vs consideration
retention vs consideration

Verity Solutions

Verity Solutions has been considered in nearly 60% of the 31 decisions in this research (which was collected over the last 18 months). Provider organizations praise the Verity team for their engagement and transparency during the decision-making process. Respondents also appreciate the solution’s ease of use and its straightforward reimbursement model (invoicing upon replenishment/no true-up costs). Current customers report high satisfaction cwith Verity, especially regarding the value they receive and their relationship with the vendor. Retention is also high, with very few customers reporting plans to leave.

What Is the A-List?

To qualify for the A-List, a vendor product must demonstrate a track record of high market energy (considerations), high overall customer satisfaction (overall performance of 85 or higher out of 100), and high customer retention (no more than 10% of customer planning to replace the product).

Decision Drivers: Product Features and Partner-Level Relationships

what do organizations value most
reasons for consideration
reasons for replacement

Bottom Line on 340B Vendors | Representative Quotes from Prospective Customers

macro helix

Macro Helix customers are divided in their satisfaction with the vendor relationship. Some feel they are working with a huge company that doesn’t care about them; others report they have dedicated account representatives and personal advocates within the vendor company. A significant percentage (almost 30%) would not buy the Macro Helix solution again. One reason cited by some is that fees have risen to a level they feel is unacceptable. 340B Architect is often considered by larger organizations. The vendor leverages their relationship with drug wholesaler McKesson to establish valuable integration (technological and financial) between their systems and McKesson’s, driving interest from potential customers.

macro helix positive“We know of some other facilities that are using Macro Helix, and those facilities have been much happier with Macro Helix than we have been with our current vendor. Macro Helix offers much better vendor support than our current vendor. Some of the hospitals that use 340B Architect are converting NDCs to 11-digit codes, and I like that. I think that is where 340B compliance is headed. Another good thing is Macro Helix doesn’t nickel-and-dime. Their customers just pay maintenance fees, and as new features and changes are released, there aren’t any charges. Those releases are just part of Macro Helix’s business.” —Pharmacy Manager

macro helix negative“Macro Helix didn’t have a completed contract to show us. They complied with some of the RFP details, but they didn’t meet the deadline, and their RFP was never complete. Macro Helix wasn’t sure whether they wanted our small sites. The contracting people and the account managing people were not present, and they didn’t really return calls. They didn’t provide the information we were requesting, and they wouldn’t answer our questions. Macro Helix just didn’t really seem to want us, and they certainly weren’t meeting our needs.” —Pharmacy Director

rx strategies

All interviewed organizations who considered RxStrategies selected them—often large organizations who also consider Verity. Many of RxStrategies’ 340B customers started using the firm for contract pharmacy and then adopted the split billing solution when it became available. In the last year, RxStrategies has rolled out a new platform updating contract pharmacy and split billing functionality. Those on the new platform report stronger technology, tool usability, and support. While functionality meets most current needs, customers want continued development. Some clients had unexpected implementation challenges, specifically when implementing the new split billing system. Customers who haven’t migrated to the new platform are significantly less satisfied and likely to consider leaving. Their biggest challenges are missing key functionality and ineffective problem resolution.

macro helix positive“We are transitioning to RxStrategies for split billing because we already use the vendor for contract pharmacy, and they developed a lot of the functionalities we were looking for. The vendor was very clear when the product wasn’t ready for us yet, and they recently got it up to the level that I was looking for. The functionality the system has is definitely an improvement from my old system’s functionality, so we made the decision to switch.” —Director of Pharmacy

macro helix negative“We are reverting back to another system. We couldn’t get the orders to go through appropriately and come back to be processed through our EMR correctly. That was causing our buyers a lot of extra work and aggravation. That was one thing that we just couldn’t allow because it was also causing overtime. The accumulations were never correct, and the basis of our program wasn’t compliant. The last thing we want is a bad HRSA audit. The data wouldn’t pull in sometimes, and that was a big frustration on our end. We couldn’t get reports that we truly needed out of the system. When the vendor generated a report, we found flaws in it, and we couldn’t trust the reporting.” —340B Manager

sentry data systems

Sentry customers’ overall satisfaction is tied closely to support and account management quality. Historically, many have reported inconsistent support resources and unkept promises from Sentry. In recent months, there has been a significant increase in Sentry customers reporting they have a stable, reliable support resource, aiding in increased stability and success with the Sentry platform. Because of their longstanding market presence and high mindshare, Sentry is frequently considered, though not often selected in validated decisions. Customers who decide against Sentry most often cite price and the vendor’s historical reputation for support struggles.

macro helix positive“Sentinel was an easy choice for us. We have already used Sentry for some of our contract pharmacy arrangements, and we have been really satisfied with their work. On top of that, we have heard that Sentry is a good, reliable operator.” —Director of Pharmacy Operations

macro helix negative“We are reverting back to another system. We couldn’t get the orders to go through appropriately and come back to be processed through our EMR correctly. That was causing our buyers a lot of extra work and aggravation. That was one thing that we just couldn’t allow because it was also causing overtime. The accumulations were never correct, and the basis of our program wasn’t compliant. The last thing we want is a bad HRSA audit. The data wouldn’t pull in sometimes, and that was a big frustration on our end. We couldn’t get reports that we truly needed out of the system. When the vendor generated a report, we found flaws in it, and we couldn’t trust the reporting.” —340B Manager

verity solutions

Verity Solutions provides a good product and a consistent experience—the vendor has been named Best in KLAS for the last two years. Customers describe Verity as transparent and responsive, reporting white-glove treatment from dedicated account representatives. When it comes to the product itself, respondents cite significant enhancements compared to the prior AutoSplit product; one interviewed organization would like better reporting and more flexibility with the data. Verity’s reimbursement model supports advantageous interactions with contract pharmacies.

macro helix positive“We are going to go to Verity Solutions. . . . The contract pharmacy model for Verity 340B is much more conducive to business on the contract pharmacy side. With Verity 340B, the contract pharmacy keeps some of the insurance payments and some of the patient co-payments. We get only a percentage. That leaves the contract pharmacy with more money to pay their switch fees and their direct and indirect remuneration fees. Some of the younger companies, such as Verity Solutions, have that model that allows the contract pharmacy to keep more and pay their bills. . . . Verity Solutions came out of the shadows like a dark horse and took over things to a degree, but that is because of their model. It is very simple and straightforward, so most people can follow it; the model doesn’t have a convoluted, slow-moving medication program.” —340B Coordinator

macro helix negative“We looked at Verity 340B. The vendor was very competitive with their pricing, but they did not meet our organization’s needs. A lot of hospitals use NDCs, but we don’t. We are still in the charge code era, and that gets complicated when the software can only do one-to-one links. Verity Solutions’ system can do one-to-many links, but we would have to switch back and forth between NDCs. That would become complicated and would require more resources to manage the software solutions.” —340B Specialist

Limited Data

psg

The limited data available on PSG, a relatively newer and smaller player in the 340B software market, shows they provide dedicated support resources for a high-service approach. The available feedback indicates high satisfaction from early customers. Respondents view the solution as somewhat expensive because of the cost of PSG’s high-touch service. Customers have expressed a desire for a new UI, which they say PSG plans to roll out over the next year. Organizations who consider PSG often also consider Macro Helix and Sentry.

macro helix positive“The primary reason that we switched over to PSG was that they were the only company that was not only willing but also excited to work with us on our systems that run on a centralized model. No other splitter system vendor wanted to even try to figure out how to deal with that. PSG actually built us a unique splitter, and it works really well for us. The transparency into our data is a hundred times better than the transparency we had with our previous tool.” —Pharmacy Compliance Manager

macro helix negative“The PSG references were kind of hesitant on some things. When we started looking at PSG’s program, it just didn’t seem very technologically advanced. It was kind of a glorified spreadsheet, and it didn’t seem like it was as developed as it had been advertised to be. PSG did comply with some of the RFP details and those sorts of things.” —Pharmacy Director

Representative Quotes from Current Customers

macro helix current customer

“Macro Helix’s support is really lacking. If an issue comes up with software that is important to regulations, and we call with a simple question, it goes through the bureaucracy of a case number and all those things. We can never just call and speak to someone. We don’t have direct contact. With my other vendors, there are specific people that I can call up if I need anything. With Macro Helix, there is nobody to call. We just get the bureaucratic help desk scenario. Some of the techs don’t work every day on the assignment.” —Pharmacy Director

verity solutions current customer

“We have weekly calls with Verity Solutions, and they are very proactive. In terms of deliverables, we have tangible outcomes that are tracked and established every week. Verity Solutions’ customer support is excellent. Verity Solutions is very goal oriented, and they make an effort to provide quantifiable deliverables in our 340B program. Verity Solutions establishes a very insightful reporting mechanism and reports our information on a regular basis to keep us on track. We know more about how productive our program is as a result of Verity Solutions’ software and reporting capabilities.” —Pharmacist

sentry data systems current customer

“The vendor distribution numbers often don’t match. When the numbers come back, I open up a ticket and ask the vendor how to get the numbers in the system, and I have to send the vendor an NDC along with other information on the drug. Then I have to wait for the vendor to get around to putting everything into the system. We discussed all of that with the vendor before we switched computer systems. We believed that the vendor should have picked up anything new that we added on the list and processed the new items in their system. But the vendor couldn’t give us an answer as to why that didn’t happen or why it took so long to happen. We didn’t know whether they were even looking at that list that we sent them every month. The issue was on their end, and we felt that the vendor had expanded and grown too fast and didn’t have enough people. A lot of people we originally talked with suddenly changed jobs, and then we had to talk with somebody new.” —IT Manager

psg current customer

“I feel like we are paying more for PSG’s product than we did for our other vendor’s system, but PSG works a lot harder and does more with our program. Previously, we weren’t able to qualify for managed Medicaid with our contracted pharmacies. PSG has worked really hard with the state health authorities. PSG worked really hard with our five entities to get the information that we needed so that we could qualify those prescriptions. That has resulted in a lot more revenue for PSG. Obviously, the more prescriptions we qualify, the more we pay PSG.” —Pharmacy Coordinator

psg current customer

“We like RxStrategies very much. They are an excellent business partner. . . . Our relationship with them is not a transactional arrangement. . . . There is a lot of give-and-take that happens in the 340B space. So I appreciate the partnership. I consider the people I work with at RxStrategies to be business friends. I benefit from that relationship, and they give me things that aren’t always in the contract. They don’t always charge me for everything they do, and we adjust the fees as we go along. The value we get for what we pay is very good.” —Director of Pharmacy

top of mind performance metrics

exclamation mark iconKLAS' Decision Insights data helps provider organizations understand which vendors have market energy and why organizations are considering these vendors. Decision Insights reports are not designed to be a comprehensive census or win/loss market share study.

Click here for more information and commentary surrounding the 340B space.

author - Amanda Wind Smith
Writer
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Natalie Jamison
Designer
Natalie Jamison
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2022 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.