FDB (First Databank, Inc.), a leading provider of drug knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make precise decisions, announced the launch of FDB Vela (pronounced “Vee-La”), a new, cloud-native electronic prescribing (ePrescribing) network that enables the seamless flow of critical medication prescription information, benefits verification, and clinical decision support between pharmacies, prescribers, payers and other constituents.
Over the last two decades, the U.S. healthcare industry has achieved nearly universal adoption of ePrescribing but has been primarily served by a single ePrescribing network. With the launch of FDB Vela, participants—including electronic health record (EHR) developers and other technology partners, payers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and pharmacies—now have a new choice that provides accessibility to all types of participants, easy onboarding, and the ability to leverage advanced functionalities to streamline prescribing and fulfillment. Through FDB Vela, participants will be able to use a range of ePrescribing transaction services on a non-exclusive and straightforward basis, empowering them to bring additional value to their customers and patients.
“We believe it’s time for a robust and frictionless electronic prescribing connection—one that will open the door to transformative innovations that improve workflows, expand capabilities, and foster collaboration,” said FDB President Bob Katter. “FDB Vela gives stakeholders a new choice when facilitating the billions of electronic prescribing transactions that take place across the country every year.”
Katter added, “A majority of prescriptions are currently written and dispensed using FDB’s industry-leading drug knowledge and decision support capabilities, and we view FDB Vela as a natural extension to the services we already provide to the nation’s leading health IT vendors, hospitals, ambulatory clinics, pharmacies, PBMs and health insurance companies.”
FDB Vela provides medication eligibility and benefits information for millions of U.S. consumers and supports the current set of ePrescribing transactions required by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP). Participants can access the network on a non-exclusive basis, enjoying the full range of technological and economic benefits for qualifying transactions while continuing to use their existing ePrescribing network for other transactions.
“While the healthcare industry has experienced massive technological change and innovation in recent years, ePrescribing processes have not matched this pace nor fully responded to the needs and goals of multiple participants across healthcare. Throughout the development of FDB Vela, we continually asked ourselves how we can better serve these constituents and build the most flexible, customer-focused ePrescribing network possible,” said Lathe Bigler, vice president of clinical network services at FDB and general manager of FDB Vela.
Through a partnership with RxRevu, a leading real-time cost and coverage network provider, FDB Vela brings real-time pharmacy benefit (RTPB) information to ePrescribing workflows embedded seamlessly within the EHR. This allows clinicians to retrieve important information about prior authorization requirements and a patient’s out-of-pocket responsibility so they can have fully informed conversations about costs and medication choice with their patients.
In partnership with RxLightning, an innovator in specialty prescription enrollment and processing, FDB Vela brings specialty enrollment services directly into the clinician’s ordering workflow, eliminating the current set of overlapping manual transactions. Today’s process, conducted via phone and fax, takes an average of 24 days to complete, leaving patients waiting for vital treatments. By automating enrollment and prescription routing for specialty drugs, FDB Vela can help save staff hours each week and dramatically reduce fulfillment wait times for patients.
In addition, FDB Vela brings specialty enrollment services directly into the clinician’s ordering workflow, eliminating the current set of overlapping manual transactions. Today’s process, conducted via phone and fax, takes an average of 24 days to complete, leaving patients waiting for vital treatments. By automating enrollment and prescription routing for specialty drugs, FDB Vela can help save staff hours each week and dramatically reduce fulfillment wait times for patients.
FDB Vela extends electronic routing capabilities to include prescriptions for pets as well as humans. The new network makes it possible for developers of veterinary practice information management systems (PIMS) to connect veterinary practices with participating pharmacies, including major retail pharmacies and veterinary pharmacies, easing fulfillment of pet prescriptions for both veterinarians and pet parents.
EHR and other technology partners, currently faced with a lengthy onboarding and certification process—in some cases nearly a year—can gain access to FDB Vela and its services within weeks via a series of advanced APIs built on highly scalable and secure Microsoft® Azure technology. In implementing FDB Vela, they will experience flexibility to customize workflows and interfaces to meet the needs of their users. Other organizations, including start-ups and electronic prescribing aggregators, that in many cases have been shut out of participating in electronic prescribing, will have the opportunity to connect and facilitate ePrescribing services with FDB Vela.
FDB Vela will make it easier for participants to do business with the network. Payers, PBMs, pharmacies and specialty medication hub services providers can now contract for transaction services on a non-exclusive basis, giving them greater control over ePrescribing expenses. By providing a full set of NCPDP-specified and evolving specialty transactions on a single unified platform, FDB Vela will provide users workflow efficiencies that save time and money, allowing them to direct more resources toward innovation.
“FDB Vela is not just about counting transactions in a network, but rather changing the status quo by offering new and more compelling business models for ePrescribing participants,” Bigler said. “A business model that works for one PBM or pharmacy may not work for another given their circumstances. FDB Vela seeks to enable participants to optimize their ePrescribing transaction processes, delivering greater efficiency and value, and ultimately better outcomes for their patients.”