Expensive brand-name medication is a major driver of increasing healthcare costs, according to research published last year by the American Medical Association. This trend is exacerbated by the fact that doctors often pay little attention to cost in deciding between different treatment options.
EazyScripts, a Chicago startup based in the MATTER healthtech incubator, wants to address that problem and make patients safer in the process.
“Doctors often have no idea what the cost is going to be to the patient, or whether the treatment might be cheaper if they paid out of pocket than if they use their insurance,” said eazyScripts co-founder and president Todd Occomy.
Although seldom discussed, the cost of medication can shape patient outcomes — for better or worse.
“Fifty percent of prescriptions are never filled, usually due to cost,” said Occomy. “Most patients don’t even know what they’re going to pay for their medication before showing up at the pharmacy, and at that point they decide not to fill it because they don’t have the money.”
As its name suggests, eazyScripts makes software that streamline the drug prescription process for doctors. The company provides physicians with price transparency, decision support and analytics tools that track how well patients stay up with their treatments. For instance, if a patient with a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure fails to fill a prescription, eazyScripts can let their physician know to follow up.
To arrive at the most cost-effective treatment, eazyScripts considers both sticker cost and insurance coverage. The platform also automates the process of prior authorization, helping patients avoid price shocks when they show up at the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions.
A physician by training, Occomy directed clinical operations for Doctor on Demand, a Silicon Valley-based telemedicine startup. Watching the growth of the telemedicine industry, he recognized the need for a prescription solution built with remote care in mind.
“Our solution is built to be as intuitive as an app you might download, which wouldn’t require any directions or training,” said Occomy. “It’s also designed for speed. It’s built for telemedicine providers who might see three, four or five patients an hour remotely.”
Although founded in 2014, eazyScripts recently entered a major growth spurt, expanding its team from two to eight and closing a $2 million Series A round of funding. Occomy said he’s excited to continue growing his team in Chicago — particularly his tech team
“The startup community here is really flourishing, and we’ve been very fortunate to be based out of MATTER,” he said. “There’s nothing else like it in the country, in terms of number of organizations or the number of health system and industry partners. And it’s a great hub for mentorship.”
Images via eazyScripts and Shutterstock.