Today’s episode is an interview with Jerilyn Arneson, a Revenue Integrity Pharmacist. Jerilyn and I met in April 2019, at the Medipreneurs Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Medical care for many disease states is expensive. Jerilyn uses her voice to advocate for the financial best interests of her patients. She helps them access financial assistance so they can focus on battling their disease and winning back their health.
Jerilyn Arneson is a pharmacist with 22 years of experience in a variety of practice settings. She started as an Air Force pharmacist and spent most of her career working in military medicine. She is a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist who transitioned to civilian healthcare in 2014. Currently, Jerilyn works for a healthcare organization in Virginia as a Revenue Integrity Pharmacist. She specializes in navigating medication access and reimbursement for outpatient infusion centers.
In the last 6 years, Jerilyn has launched multiple medication assistance and financial navigation programs to assist cancer patients and other chronically ill patients with their treatment costs. She is also a Certified Medicare Benefits counselor and volunteers at Senior Services, where she helps patients select a Medicare plan that will cover their medical needs and assists them with complex problems, such as denials of essential services.
Mentioned in this episode
Jerilyn’s LinkedIn profile: linkedin.com/in/jerilyn-arneson
NAMAPA’s LinkedIn Page: linkedin.com/company/namapa
www.namapa.org – National Association of Medication Access and Patient Advocacy (NAMAPA) – nonprofit that empowers healthcare advocates by providing resources to navigate medication access and support.
www.healthcareadvocatesummit.com – Healthcare Advocate Summit in May 2021 in Galveston, TX – conference is open to anyone working provide access to medications for patients who can’t afford it or are unable to navigate our healthcare system to obtain access (Patient Assistance specialists, pharmacists, pharmacy leadership, nurses, social workers, etc.)
atlas.health is Jerilyn’s future employer. They provide Advanced Patient assistance software that screens patients and matches them with all potential assistance programs including free drug, copay or foundation assistance, Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, and hospitals’ internal financial assistance programs.
www.shiptacenter.org – Find your local Medicare Benefits Counselor if someone is turning 65 and new to Medicare, if they’ve been denied a service or just have questions about their Medicare plan.
Highlights from the interview
Revenue Integrity Pharmacists evaluate everything that has to do with pharmacy cost and reimbursement, including denials on high-dollar drug claims.
She specializes in specialty infusion centers. One claim can be tens of thousands of dollars. She writes appeal letters for denial claims.
Jerilyn helps patient get access to treatment. She focuses on financial navigation.
How did she learn everything she needed to know to be a Revenue Integrity Pharmacist? She picked up a lot of experience in different practice settings. She’s a curious person who wondered why patients were self-discontinuing treatments. When she realized they couldn’t afford treatments, she educated herself on patient assistance programs. Field Reimbursement Managers from drug companies helped her understand how to access underutilized patient assistance programs. She also asked a lot of people a lot of questions!
Jerilyn did not have formal training for her role as a Revenue Integrity Pharmacist, but she would recommend ASHP’s Pharmacy Revenue Cycle Management Certificate. That filled gaps in her knowledge.
What kind of pharmacist would enjoy being a Revenue Integrity Pharmacist?
- Someone who is curious and likes to problem-solve.
- An inquisitive person who is willing to ask a lot of questions.
- An excellent communicator: someone who can write appeal letters for denials (provide documentation).
- Someone who wants to help people and won’t say, “That’s not my job.”
Jerilyn shared a success story about helping a woman with more than $50,000 in debt get financial assistance and adequate insurance coverage. The US Healthcare System can complicated for many patients to navigate! Jerilyn was this woman’s “angel.”
According to Jerilyn, military pharmacy is a great place for a pharmacist to start their career!
Jerilyn will be touching many lives in her new role at Atlas.Health.