Given the challenges that often accompany specialty medication management, it is not surprising that many facilities are interested in maintaining oversight of these complex medications for their patients. Under increasing pressure to accept white bagging and brown bagging with no increase in reimbursement, many health systems with the appropriate resources have launched their own specialty pharmacies. While those facilities operating specialty pharmacies did not expand this year, 17% of health systems are considering launching a specialty operation in the near future.
The impact of facility size on specialty pharmacy operations is substantial. A majority of 400+ bed facilities (60%) operate specialty pharmacies, but that number drops to a mere 15% for the smallest facilities. Notably, facilities with 800+ beds are even more committed to these operations: 84% have specialty pharmacies in place.
The number of health systems operating certified specialty pharmacies held steady this year at 34%.
Looking forward, just 17% of facilities are currently planning to establish a specialty pharmacy and that number remains consistent across all facilities with at least 100 beds.