We talked to Carm Huntress of RxRevu about their mission to lower medication costs and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Carm Huntress: It has obviously been a difficult year for everyone, but I’m lucky to be located in Colorado, where I can enjoy the outdoors at a safe distance. We’re staying busy and hoping to get back to normal across the next year.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded RxRevu.
Carm Huntress: About 8 years ago, Dr. Kevin O’Brien saw the long and expensive list of medications his mother had to take. He looked through the list and manually came up with drug options that she could bring to her doctor, and that’s how the idea for RxRevu was born. Kevin came to me so we could figure out a more seamless way to help individuals reduce the cost of their medications. Since that time, we’ve tested a number of different product ideas but have focused specifically on bringing patient coverage information to provider workflows so that they can make informed prescribing decisions for their patients. Prior to RxRevu, I worked on a number of healthcare interoperability projects with the goal of promoting data transparency throughout the industry.
How does RxRevu innovate?
Carm Huntress: RxRevu is owned and collaboratively led by prominent health systems from across the United States.
We work closely with them to unearth innovative product ideas and gather feedback so we can focus on what matters most to providers. These health systems help us understand how prescription data can impact patient conversations and what product features they would like to see. By working directly with health systems, EHR vendors, and payer/PBM organizations, we innovate on our offering and bring the most accurate prescription data to the point-of-care.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Carm Huntress: When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, RxRevu quickly worked to develop an internal team that could organize our efforts around supporting the community. RxRevu was founded on the principle of helping others, and we knew we had to step-up during this trying time. Members of our staff volunteered and organized fundraisers to help feed our frontline workers.
In addition to supporting our local hospitals and health systems through fundraising, RxRevu looked to adapt our solution to benefit patients and providers further. While our tool typically displayed prescription coverage information so physicians could select lower-cost medications, we partnered with a number of organizations to also display convenient pharmacy locations. This functionality could reduce the number of stops a patient needed to make and reduce the risk of COVID exposure. Our ability to innovate, adapt, and shift our tool’s capabilities has helped many physicians – both in our community and beyond – in their prescribing workflows and allowed many patients to receive cost-effective medications at the most convenient location.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Carm Huntress: Early on, RxRevu chose to move to a fully-remote work environment. It has been difficult not being able to collaborate with the team in person, but we leverage digital tools to make sure we stay connected and create an environment that fosters innovation, teamwork, and fun.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, and how does your team manage this new world?
Carm Huntress: Personally, I’ve been staying active and trying to reduce my time in front of my computer screen. When possible, I try to take calls outside to get a change of scenery. As for my team, we developed flexible time-off policies, encourage mental and emotional support through our health insurance, and provide a number of virtual group activities each month. We are working to keep everyone healthy and happy and have offered great benefits to make that a reality.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Carm Huntress: There are a number of vendors in the prescription price transparency space. We are the only one that focuses specifically on Real-Time Prescription benefits. We are the only ones owned by health systems, without influence from outside organizations.
We’re differentiating our product by delivering the most accurate data from the widest coverage network to providers’ fingertips, all in real-time. We want to make sure providers can make the most informed decisions for their patients, reducing the cost of prescriptions and eliminating unnecessary administrative work for their teams.
Your final thoughts?
Carm Huntress: This year has been extraordinary for a number of reasons, but RxRevu has repeatedly shown that we are dedicated to bringing the best prescription price transparency product to market. We are continuing to grow our team and are partnering with EHRs, PBMs, and health systems to make the prescribing process a more seamless one. COVID-19 has been challenging, but it won’t stop us from helping patients get the most affordable care available.