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Technology for substitute biosimilars to improve practice efficiency and financial health


March 2024


Speicher S, Wynn F, Ritter K, et al. Technology for substituting biosimilars to improve practice efficiency and financial health. Poster presented at: 50th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit: Feb 28 – Mar 1, 2024; Washington, DC. Accessed March 4, 2024


Our summary

Biosimilar therapies are projected to save the US healthcare system about $54 billion and decrease Medicare out-of-pocket costs by $3.3 billion by 2029. To encourage their use, insurers have made lists of preferred biosimilars that doctors should consider before prescribing other medications.

Given the administrative difficulties associated with choosing the preferred drug, many community practices find it challenging to use biosimilars effectively. Currently, teams composed of pharmacists or practice administrators are burdened with the manual review of individual treatment regimens and implementation of case-specific substitutions with biosimilars. This approach is time-consuming, contributes to staff burnout, and hinders long-term cost savings. 

Recognizing the need for a more efficient system, researchers at Flatiron Health aimed to simplify the process by leveraging technology within the electronic medical record. The goal was to make it more convenient for community practices to cut costs by streamlining the ordering of biosimilars.

Why this matters

The integration of EMR drug substitution is pivotal for enhancing oncology patient care. It ensures patients receive insurer-preferred biosimilars, supporting comprehensive reimbursement and minimizing out-of-pocket costs for community oncology practices. This streamlined feature simplifies updating insurer preferences for new biosimilars, improving overall practice efficiency. Reducing manual processes not only boosts staff satisfaction but also expedites treatment initiation by incorporating insurance preferences and cutting prior authorization time. This research marks a significant stride in seamlessly integrating technology into oncology care, promoting efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and heightened patient satisfaction.

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