November 10, 2020

TELUS Health, Canada Life and Innomar Strategies pilot the first electronic prior authorization solution in Canada

A highly-anticipated innovation, the TELUS Health ePA solution offers an end-to-end digital experience with the ability to save time and accelerate access to specialty medicines

Toronto -- Today, TELUS Health, Canada’s largest health IT company; along with Canada Life, a leading insurance, wealth management, and benefits provider; and Innomar Strategies, a leading patient support service provider; together announced the launch of Canada’s first electronic drug prior authorization (ePA) solution. In a pilot program that will assess the value and potential benefits for users, the companies will test the digitized process to fulfill prior authorization submissions for real prescription cases and evaluate its impact on process efficiency, consistency of adjudication results and the overall plan sponsor and member experience.

“Innovation is driven by necessity, and this offering comes from truly listening to the needs of Canada’s health benefits community,” said Laura Mensch, vice president, Health Benefits Management, TELUS Health. “Collaborating with a leader like Canada Life allows us to create and validate a unique digital experience for all stakeholders in the benefits continuum. This is an important step in our mission to leverage the power of technology to invigorate the entire industry, optimize whole systems and bring health benefits management into the future.”

How it works

Prior authorization is applied to certain prescription medications to determine if a benefits plan member is approved to receive coverage for that specific drug. Digital ePA solutions, which are available in other countries, help to unlock system efficiencies and productivity gains, resulting in decreased time spent fulfilling prior authorization submissions. With submissions in Canada expected to grow due to the increased utilization of specialty medicines, and even more coming to market, the TELUS Health ePA solution is set to make a significant impact across the country’s health benefits industry.

With the new TELUS Health ePA solution, physicians and patient support program staff can easily initiate the prior authorization process through a web portal, allowing them to complete all necessary forms, secure electronic signatures and deliver digital outputs directly to insurance providers and payors. This ensures complete information is submitted for processing and helps prevent delays as well as substantial back and forth between stakeholders.

The ePA solution supports:

  • Benefits plan sponsors and members by providing a more efficient and expedited prior authorization process, ensuring more timely access to medications and offering a simpler overall benefits experience;
  • Physicians and their staff, by reducing time spent managing forms, as well as delays in treatment, allowing more time to be spent with patients;
  • Insurance providers and payors, by making the adjudication process faster and more efficient, all while producing consistent results that lead to fewer inquiries to call centres and delivering a better experience for plan sponsors and their members; and
  • Patient support program providers, by streamlining processes which have the potential to increase efficiency of workflows and provide access to reported trends and metrics, improving the customer experience.
     
     

“Our collaboration with TELUS Health and Innomar Strategies is all about making things easier for our customers,” said Ryan Weiss, vice president, Group Customer Product and Experience for Canada Life. “TELUS Health’s new ePA digital solution is aimed at improving what has been a long and cumbersome process for everyone involved, and we anticipate it will be able to help ensure timely coverage decisions. It’s part of our strategy to increase digital options for members and sponsors, and continually improve the customer experience. These efforts are especially important now, when there’s an increased need for fewer in-person contacts because of the pandemic – convenience and safety go hand in hand.”

“As the demand for specialty medications increases in Canada, it’s critical to improve the process of how patients, physicians, and payers interact with Patient Support Programs,” said Sandra Anderson, senior vice president of Commercialization and Strategy of Innomar Strategies, a part of AmerisourceBergen. “At Innomar, we continue to invest in technology and digital solutions that help enhance the patient experience and meet our customers’ evolving needs. As such, we are excited to collaborate with TELUS Health and Canada Life to test the value of a new digital tool that may help to streamline the PA process and accelerate patient access to therapy.”

About The Canada Life Assurance Company

Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 170 years, individuals, families and business owners across Canada have trusted us to provide sound guidance and deliver on the promises we’ve made.

As of January 1, 2020, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life became one company – Canada Life, and today, we proudly serve more than 13 million customer relationships from coast to coast to coast.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

About Innomar Strategies

Innomar Strategies, a part of AmerisourceBergen, is the leading patient support provider in the Canadian specialty biopharmaceutical market. We deliver end-to-end commercialization solutions to improve product access, increase supply chain efficiency and enhance patient care. Strategic consulting, patient support programs, nursing, and clinical services, and specialty pharmacy and logistics are just a few of our key areas of specialization. We partner closely with manufacturers, healthcare providers, pharmacies and payers to ensure patients have consistent and reliable access to specialty medication. With our integrated approach and commitment to best-in-class care, Innomar Strategies helps navigate the patient journey to optimize health outcomes. Visit us at www.innomar-strategies.com.

About TELUS Health and Payment Solutions

TELUS Health is a leader in digital health technology solutions such as home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, virtual care, benefits and pharmacy management as well as personal emergency response services. TELUS Health is leveraging the power of technology to improve access to care and revolutionize the flow of health information to create better outcomes for Canadians while facilitating collaboration, efficiency and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers and citizens. TELUS Payment Solutions complements our health solutions by delivering secure, industry-compliant payment and lending solutions that connect lenders, payors, insurers, extended health care providers and financial institutions to their customers across Canada.

For more information please visit: www.telushealth.com and www.telus.com/payment-solutions.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jill Yetman
TELUS Public Relations Team
416-992-2639
jill.yetman@telus.com

Liz Kulyk
The Canada Life Assurance Company
204-391-85152
Media.Relations@canadalife.com

Mike Iorfino
Innomar Strategies
610.545.9189
Mike.iorfino@amerisourcebergen.com