Clinical Blueprints

A pharmacy driven approach to chronic disease management.

Stop spending money on diabetes programs that don’t work.

Invest in one that does.
You can only throw money at a problem for so long before it’s time to ask, “Are we even looking at the right problem?”

For bold self-funded employers—that time is now.

Northwind’s Clinical Blueprints provide a flexible framework for managing the care and costs of treating employees living and working with chronic conditions.

Guided by evidence-based medication strategies and Lean Six Sigma principles, Clinical Blueprints remove the barriers that keep high-risk, high-cost employee populations from engaging in their own health.

Which to be fair, is usually the real problem.

What’s different about our approach?

Our Clinical Blueprint programs were built using Lean Six Sigma methods for process improvement to identify and analyze the common defects found in typical programs and define what improvement looks like for all of the stakeholders.

  • High-risk employees living with chronic disease.
  • Employers invested in their employees’ wellbeing.
  • Clinical teams committed to providing exceptional care. (We include the pharmacist on that team).

We looked at a collection of CDM programs from start to finish. Identified the gaps and barriers. And designed flexible programs to improve engagement, eliminate waste, and demonstrate Strategic Rx Stewardship™.

What kind of waste did we find?

  • Life-saving medications left on the shelf due to patient non-adherence, missed opportunities to educate and support patients, and program drop-off.
  • Underutilized health and wellness facilities and staff.
  • Time. Wasted while waiting on data. While waiting for preauthorization or permission. While waiting for people to feel better so they can do their jobs.
  • Money spent rather than invested. 84% of healthcare costs are directly related to unmanaged chronic disease.

Removing barriers to engagement

TYPICAL APPROACH

Employees struggle to access or afford necessary prescription medications and supplies.
No program in the world will work if patients aren’t taking the life-saving medications prescribed by their provider. Approximately 30% of patients with diabetes are non-compliant. That number increases to 40% for those on insulin. When employees are unable to access affordable medication and supplies without giving up something else, they avoid care, drop out of programs, or try to game the system by rationing their meds until they reach their deductible.

OUR APPROACH

Employees receive prescription medications and supplies at no out-of-pocket cost. NONE.
Program participants receive medication and supplies in an employer-branded kit at no cost to them. If you have a health center, we deliver program kits to you as a part of the program cadence developed with your provider. That’s the deal. It’s why it works. Program costs are paid by the employer and funded by the savings we bring to your overall drug spend. More than a shift in thinking, it’s a strategic shift in how you invest your pharmacy dollars to do the most good.
COST BARRIER. GONE.

TYPICAL APPROACH

Programs make it difficult (or prohibitive) to leverage existing clinical resources.
This makes it hard on everyone. Employers who have invested in clinics and health and wellness support. The clinical providers held accountable for health outcomes. And the employees who already have access and a trusting relationship with their existing providers. We’ll give you one guess who hears from the employees when they find out they can’t keep using their on-site clinic or trusted provider.

OUR APPROACH

Clinical Blueprints flex to meet the needs of your unique population and existing clinical resources.
We don’t tell your members WHO they can see or your providers HOW to provide care. We look, listen, and then customize the program to make the most of your existing clinical resources and drive member engagement. We subtract barriers and add pharmacy consulting so that providers can give your employees their very best care. Our pharmacists and clinical strategists are here to complement your team, not replace them.
FLEXIBILITY BARRIER. GONE.

TYPICAL APPROACH

Inconsistent practices and fulfillment channels make it hard to troubleshoot and engage cohort participants while there’s still time.
Most programs fail somewhere between the point of care and the medicine cabinet. But where? And why? Think about it like the science experiment you conducted in school, but with much higher stakes. If there is no “control” and no visibility into the data, how do you know what is and isn’t influencing the results? You don’t. Which, if we’re being 100% honest, is how the “system” usually works.

OUR APPROACH

One program. One pharmacy channel. Closer to the point of care, so you have more influence over cost and outcomes in real-time.
What we’re offering is a consistent, evidence-based program with an engaged pharmacy partner who is close enough to the point of care to actually know what’s going on and be helpful. Because when you control more of the variables that impact cost and patient behaviors, you’ll have more influence over the results.

You’ll know what’s being measured, what it means, what it costs, and what you can do about it.
CONSISTENCY BARRIER. GONE.

TYPICAL APPROACH

Stakeholders make healthcare and spending decisions based on incomplete or lagging data.
Everyone has their own data. In their own system. For their own reasons. Getting to it is hard. Understanding it is even harder. Sometimes you get quarterly data. Sometimes annual. Sometimes you get excuses. Which means you’re responding to things that have already happened. Money you’ve already spent. What influence does that give you?

OUR APPROACH

All program data in one easy-to-use platform. Transparent and accessible in real-time. So you can make good decisions today.
Northwind’s easy-to-use, RxSteward platform puts everyone on the same page. All program data is collected and aggregated in real-time while there’s still time to act. Dedicated dashboards for employers, providers, and clinic teams keep PHI private while providing actionable insights into engagement behaviors, pharmacy benefit spend, cost-of-care savings, and health outcomes.
ACCESS TO DATA BARRIER. GONE.

TYPICAL APPROACH

Programs are put on auto-pilot with very little involvement, oversight, or accountability from key stakeholders.
There is nothing “turn-key” about chronic disease management—although that’s often the pitch. Write a check, and let it run itself. If you’re a busy employer or advisor, that sounds pretty good. And if this was a blood drive. That would be okay. But we’re talking about highly targeted groups of people with very real, very expensive illnesses. Your people. And hundreds of thousands of dollars—maybe millions. Do you really want that on autopilot?

OUR APPROACH

Clinical Blueprints make it easier for busy employers to facilitate, monitor, grow, and fund their programs.
Steeped in Lean Six Sigma principles that eliminate wasted time and resources, Blueprints give the whole team a customized structure and collaborative tools to define, measure, analyze, improve, and control a long-term program. It’s a programmatic approach that keeps decision-making close to the point of care and the Northwind clinical team close to you.
SUSTAINABILITY BARRIER. GONE.

Results Worth Talking About

Participants starting with an A1C ≥ 7 achieved a reduction in A1C between 0.10 and 4.2, with an average reduction of 1.84 points.
*According to the ADA, every one-point decrease in A1C reduces the risk of long-term diabetes complications by up to 40%
A single employer with a worksite clinic saw a 41% decrease in medical diabetes cost the first year of their clinical blueprint program.
*First year results for employer with worksite clinic.
10% Pharmacy Savings to Employer vs PBM + $0 copay for member​
Keith Grames
Senior VP, HR MACU
“I had nine employees personally find me to thank me for offering the program. How do we do more?”
Jill Berg, BSN, RN
Manager, Population Health Services

“Northwind’s blueprint for the Diabetes Program has helped to reduce barriers to care in our patients and encouraged them to become fully engaged with our Primary Care Physicians. The results have been amazing with many patients showing significant improvements in clinical health factors and overall management of their Diabetes”
Austin Z and family
“I just wanted to say thank you! You truly were a lifesaver! We feel so fortunate to have Northwind play a significant part in our son’s T1D journey. It’s a disease that requires constant attention to countless levels of detail, and not having to worry about the pharmaceutical aspect of things has truly been remarkable.”

You can care about your people AND your bottom line.

Let us show you how.
As the pharmacy partner for self-funded employers, advisors, and clinic managers, we help clients solve complicated healthcare benefits challenges every day.

Diabetes is at the top of everyone’s list. And it should be.

Employees with diabetes have medical expenditures 2.3 times higher than everyone else. And they don’t feel any better about that than you do.

34.2 million people or 10.5% of the U.S. population have diabetes.

How many of them work for you?
Use this calculator to get a snapshot of the impact of diabetes and potential savings to your organization.
Data Entry
Metric Sample Your Data
Plan Membership 1,000
Projections For Your Organization
Estimated Diabetics on your Plan 105 0
Estimated Annual Medical Spend for Diabetic Members $1,758,750 $0
Estimated Annual Hospital Admissions for Diabetes2 36 0
Estimated Annual Diabetic Hospital Admissions for Heart Disease1,2 8 0
Estimated Annual Reduction of Diabetic Hospital Admissions3,4 4 0
Estimated Cost Savings from Reduction of Cardiovascular Disease $108,540 $0
Estimated Annual Savings from Care Blueprint imporvements5 $175,875 $0
Total Estimated Savings $284,415 $0
1. Nat’l. Diabetes Statistics Report, CDC 2020
2. Diabetes Care 2019;41:293-302
3. Northwind data
4. Diabetes Care 2014; 37 (1):39-43
5. Diabetes Care 2020; 43:1557-1592

Our Clinical Leadership Team

Julia Bartlow
RPh, MBA
Steve Zetzl
PharmD, RPh
Betsy Bigler
RN, MSN
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Northwind’s rapidly expanding clinical team includes more than 20 pharmacists, clinicians, and technicians with experience in:
  • Disease management
  • Pharmacology
  • Managed care
  • Population health
  • Lean Six Sigma
  • Pharmacy benefit planning
  • Risk management

Why Northwind?

Why is a pharmacy solutions provider developing chronic disease management programs? Simple. We’re a part of the care team too. And we care about the health of your employees.

Existing programs underestimate the importance of affordable access to prescription drugs and pharmacology consulting to help patients and providers manage complex drug regimens and improve patient engagement and adherence.

So employees stay sick. Medications stay on the shelf. And employers keep paying the price for unmanaged disease.

We created Clinical Blueprints to bring focused care and strategic Rx Stewardship™ to the areas where employers and employees need it most. Diabetes is where we started, but we’re helping our client’s gain influence over the impact of other chronic conditions like asthma and COPD, heart disease, tobacco cessation, weight management, and migraine prevention.

It’s what we do. And who we are.
Chronic chron•ic krä-nik adjective
“Persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.”
With all that you’re investing in the health of your employees, is it too much to ask to see better results?

Not if you ask us.

ready for better results?

Contact our clinical team today