With rising inflation and COVID driving operating costs skyward, long-term care facilities are looking for effective cost-containment solutions. Yankee Alliance, a national Group Purchasing Organization (“GPO”), is committed to help its members save by leveraging the strength of purchasing power. With many programs and services, a key area where the GPO has generated significant savings is in pharmacy services.


Driving the Greatest Financial Value

“We work hand in hand with our Member Services and Clinical Services teams to promote savings opportunities for our members, whether they are issuing an RFP or in the midst of a conversation,” said Duane Bragg, VP of Contracting at Yankee Alliance. Owner-member New England-based Covenant Health is just one example of a member who successfully reduced expenses with Yankee Alliance’s strategic long-term care pharmacy supplier, PharMerica.

Covenant Health is a leading post-acute and healthcare service provider operating over 30 centers in New England. In 2019, the organization sought a new pharmacy services provider. Through Yankee Alliance’s partnership with PharMerica, the pharmacy was awarded a contract and now services 10 Covenant Health skilled nursing homes, plus an affiliated facility, for a total of almost 1,600 beds.

The primary reason PharMerica was the right fit was savings. “We know this is a priority for our members” said Bragg. He highlighted that the PharMerica contract has saved Covenant Health approximately 20% off their pharmacy spend.

Personalized Attention in an Industry Defined by Numbers 

But cost wasn’t the only factor in Covenant Health’s selection. Covenant Health was looking for a pharmacy provider that would be responsive. “Covenant Health didn’t want to feel like a number. They wanted a level of attention they felt they deserved, especially when issues arise” explained Keith Harju, Director, Strategic Accounts, at PharMerica.

Because of PharMerica’s nationwide footprint, it has a local presence in communities near where Covenant Health’s skilled nursing homes are located. Hands-on support is always within reach, even in the more remote areas of New England.

Since Covenant Health has now been up and running with PharMerica for a few years, that level of support has become a trusted asset over time. “We have an open line of communication between Covenant’s staff, our Pharmacy Directors, Account Management team, and Clinical Consultants.” It helps, Harju pointed out, that many employees have been with Covenant Health since the beginning of their relationship with PharMerica. That level of staff retention has been essential in building productive, proactive relationships that benefit the facilities and their residents.

Greater Operational Efficiencies for Enhanced Staff Satisfaction, Resident CareWhen Covenant Health went out to bid for a pharmacy provider, they also sought opportunities to improve efficiencies. That’s where PharMerica’s tools and reports came in. “They knew what was important to Covenant Health to help them succeed” explained Bragg.

Quarterly business reviews and resident-level detail available in the online portal, ViewMasteRx, allow the company to stay on top of trends and identify opportunities for improvement. RxInsights reveals a 96.7% on-time delivery rate and 99.7% order completion, figures Covenant Health can monitor in real time to understand resident medication access. Covenant Health knows that timely access is critical to allowing residents to have the highest level of independence.

Another technology Covenant Health has embraced to ensure immediate drug availability is the RxNow on-site drug dispensing systems. With these customizable cabinets that hold the most utilized medications, including controlled medications, in many of its facilities, Covenant Health knows residents will have the prescriptions they need, when they need them, even in the case of a late admission or emergency.

Yankee Alliance shares common goals with its members and it aims to drive uncommon results. Covenant Health has experienced said results through its relationship with Yankee Alliance’s supplier, PharMerica, who is delivering on the GPO’s mission of bringing value to members every day.

To learn more about Yankee Alliance’s partnership with PharMerica, please reach out to Duane Bragg at dbragg@yankeealliance.com