An early pioneer in the home infusion industry, Option Care continues to blaze trails today. Formerly Walgreens Infusion Services, Option Care is independently owned and one of the nation’s largest providers of home and alternate treatment site infusion services. 

Through more than 1,700 clinical experts, Option Care treats patients of all ages with a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. It offers comprehensive therapy management programs for patients with nutrition disorders, bleeding disorders and heart failure, as well as those needing immunoglobulin therapy and anti-infective therapy. Through 92 infusion pharmacies and 110 alternate treatment sites, Option Care is able to provide service to 92 percent of the country’s population. 

“The company became a leader in home infusion services before Walgreens acquired it around 2006 to get into ancillary healthcare services,” CEO Paul Mastrapa says. “In the last three years, the focus was on how the infusion business strategically connected to Walgreens.”

The infusion services operations didn’t really touch Walgreens stores directly, instead accessing patients from health systems and direct physician referrals. Walgreens decided to sell a 51 percent stake in its infusion business to a prominent equity firm. Launched as Option Care in May 2015, it is focused on strengthening its industry-leading platform.  

Reaching New Heights

Option Care has expanded in ancillary areas of the industry to provide greater access for patients and referral sources. Its services receive limited government reimbursement but are covered by most private sector plans. “We are about 80 percent commercially reimbursed,” Mastrapa says. 

Option Care’s success stems from providing high levels of clinical care and customer service, getting patients into comfortable settings and providing cost savings. Now that risk is being realigned across the system, health plans, health systems and pharmaceutical manufacturers are all taking a more strategic look at Option Care’s services. 

“We are now working at the executive levels of health systems, partnering on shared savings programs and reducing bed days for at-risk patients,” Mastrapa says. “We are also providing contract pharmacy services for health systems.” 

Health plans are looking to Option Care to help make sure patients get to the right site of care and to help determine the most cost effective site. They are looking for coverage and access to products and clinical programs to ensure that patients are effectively managed.

“We treat some of the most expensive patients with high-cost conditions, and we can provide high quality programs in the most cost effective sites and drive utilization,” Mastrapa says. “As for pharmaceutical companies, they are looking for value added partners that have the ability to work in alternate site settings and can provide these high cost therapies.”

Enhancement Efforts

Option Care now provides a diverse array of services, including many products on the chronic side of its portfolio. The company has been selected as a distribution partner for five drugs in the last few years and was recently selected as the exclusive provider for a new product that helps patients with complex medical conditions digest and absorb the essential fats they receive through enteral nutrition.

“We can provide high quality care and move from a fee-for-service environment to an outcome driven world,” Mastrapa says. “With new products being introduced, our clinical capabilities are key. We can execute at a local level and provide service at the point of care.”

In addition to caring for patients, Option Care has invested in programs that monitor patient response to therapy. “One of the primary reasons for becoming independent was to be better able to invest in technology,” Mastrapa says. “We’ve been able to invest in everything from core dispensing systems and point of care systems to back office systems. Big areas we are focused on include customer experience and staff efficiency, as well as our pharmacies.” 

Option Care can now put all of its energy toward building its own identity and path forward. Its focus is on creating an organizational culture that fosters excellence in compassionate clinical care and quality results through highly engaged teams. The company knows that it must continue to provide exceptional care to patients, investing in the tools and resources to help its people in the field succeed. 

“As healthcare evolves, we have a great asset,” Mastrapa says. “But it is important that we partner with plans in innovative ways, proactively target products where we think we can add value, and market new services and products to health systems to help them manage the shifting risk environment. Our value proposition is based on providing high-quality care at alternate sites that are the lowest cost site of care. We are in a good market and have a great opportunity to succeed and help the healthcare system evolve because we can provide great alternative care solutions to patients in need.”

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