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3 min read

How We Partner With Providers For A Better Patient Experience

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In an average week, Lynn Derocher, Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships at Local Infusion, is on the road three to four days. Based in Maine, Lynn spends most of her time visiting the regions we have centers in and meeting with local providers, nurses, referral specialists and, in some cases, local health plans and brokers/employers as well.

It’s all in the service of relationship-building, which is the thread that has connected Lynn’s diverse experience in the healthcare industry. She began her career in human resources before transitioning to pharmaceutical sales. From there, she moved to a hospital setting in a business development role, which was where everything clicked. 

“I really enjoyed that role,” explains Lynn, “because I got to marry working with people and forming those relationships while figuring out how to solve some of their biggest pain points and ensure they understand the value of what you’re bringing to the market.”

Fast forward to today, and Lynn brings over two decades of relationship-building experience to Local Infusion, growing our industry partnerships and solving some of the most pressing pain points for referring providers, health plans, and patients. 

Over the last 20+ years, what have been the biggest changes you’ve witnessed in the healthcare space? 

There used to be a lot of independent specialists, but now they’ve all been consolidated — and most of them are owned by health systems. When I first started at Local Infusion over a year ago, we kept hearing…you won’t be able to really have penetration in health systems to get them to refer to you. But it’s actually been the opposite — over 80% of our referral partners are hospital-employed specialists. Building these relationships has been the most fulfilling part of my role. 

"As our busy practice evolves, we are transitioning our "in-office" biologic injections to alternative Infusion/Injection sites that service NH patients. Local Infusion offers several sites in NH/ME which provide private, comfortable infusion suites, refreshments, TV and WiFi. Patients have a dedicated support team and greater appointment availability, including evening and Saturday appointments. Once we refer our patients, Local Infusion staff obtains the PA, schedules the patient and communicates updates and office visits weekly. We are grateful to have this option for our patients." — Registered Nurse at Hospital-owned Pulmonary Practice in New Hampshire

In addition to health plans, Local Infusion also partners closely with referring providers. What has been their biggest challenge?

The practices that I partner with, as with the broader healthcare industry, are dealing with a lot of turnover. So they don’t have enough team members to get everything done. On top of this, getting patients through the process for a specialty-infused therapeutic can be very administratively burdensome for staff that are already stretched thin. Local Infusion can be a real partner in these situations; they need a consistent, reliable way to get patients in quickly. Our referral process is incredibly efficient – we handle all of the time-consuming jobs like prior authorization and copay assistance, and we communicate with providers very frequently. It also helps that our scheduling is incredibly flexible with nights and weekends available — so patients can get the medication they need to manage their chronic condition quickly. 

It sounds so basic what we’re doing and it should be the standard, but it’s just not happening right now. We’re really solving so many needs for providers and, as a result, averaging an unprecedented six days from referral to treatment — this compared to the rest of the industry, which I have anecdotally heard to be anywhere from 4-6 weeks.

We’re able to make all of this happen because of our close relationships with our referring providers, our incredibly knowledgeable infusion guides that are trained to handle getting patients approved for specialty infused therapies, and technology that we have integrated throughout the process.

“Local Infusion just makes the infusion process easy. The customer service on the provider side and patient side is unmatched. I am excited to work with them and value them as a partner.” — John Dolan, DO InterMed Neurology 

You’re based in Maine, which is one of the early states where Local Infusion opened centers. What were the available options beforehand? 

When Local Infusion entered Maine, there were no ambulatory infusion centers in Central Maine (and just two in Southern Maine). For health plans like Anthem, Cigna, and others, they want their patients to be infused outside of the hospital because of the high cost of the drugs, so that’s where we come in. Local Infusion is an alternate site of care partner for these plans.

What gets you the most excited to get up out of bed every morning? 

I love the startup space because we have this blank canvas and truly get to influence the communities we’re serving, build relationships, and solve pain points. It’s lots of long days and lots of travel, but then it all comes full circle because I get to share patient satisfaction scores or testimonials with our partners. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

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