Northwell expects to save $12M annually with Vivo Health mail-order med program

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Northwell Health executives Gene Tangney, President and CEO Michael J. Dowling, Mark Solazzo, Onisis Stefas, Gregg Nevola and Donna Drummond open Vivo Health Pharmacy's new facility in Great Neck. (Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

Northwell health is switching prescription medication providers for its employees and is expected to save about $12 million annually with the transition.

Vivo Health Pharmacy, a speciality pharmacy, announced Tuesday it will serve Northwell’s approximately 66,000 eligible employees through a new prescription medication mail-order program.

Onisis Stefas, Pharm.D, Northwell’s chief pharmacy officer, and Gregg Nevola, chief of Total Rewards, inside Vivo Health’s new facility in Great Neck. (Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

The Utilization Review Accreditation Commission named Vivo Health Pharmacy as a fully accredited specialty pharmacy, a designation bestowed on less than one percent of all pharmacies in the United States.

Specialty pharmacies service patients with complex and chronic diseases, and often require medication that can be complicated to adhere to, difficult to access and expensive.

Vivo Health will replace Express Scripts, according to a release, as part of an effort to streamline costs and medication deliveries to better manage chronic diseases like arthritis, asthma and diabetes as well as serve acute care needs.

“Our employees should see a higher quality of care as a result of bringing their prescription medication management under the Northwell umbrella,” said Dr. Onisis Stefas, Northwell’s chief pharmacy officer. “The new facility will allow for the highest level of accuracy through automation and faster delivery to ensure anyone suffering from a chronic medical condition never has to worry about running out of a potentially life-saving drug.”

Vivo Health currently operates pharmacies at eight Northwell Health locations, including the Center for Advanced Medicine in Lake Success, Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

Vivo Health also recently built a 15,000-square-foot fulfillment facility at 225 Community Drive in Great Neck, where custom software, productivity workflows, smart shipping solutions and two pharmacy robots are capable of automatically and accurately preparing more than 340 types of medication to fulfill an estimated 500 prescriptions per day to start. 

“Vivo Health has been providing on-site and mail-order pharmacy services on behalf of Northwell patients for nearly a decade,” said Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Northwell. “With this robotic pharmacy technology and automated shipping services, we’re now able to offer the same high level of mail-order prescription services to our own 66,000 employees — at a savings of $12 million a year because we’re doing it ourselves.”

Coverage for Northwell employees began Wednesday.

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