Vivo Health Pharmacy launches prescription medication program

From left: Northwell Health executives Gene Tangney, President and CEO Michael J. Dowling, Mark Solazzo, Onisis Stefas, Greg Nevola and Donna Drummond open Vivo Health Mail Order Pharmacy's new facility in Great Neck.

Vivo Health Pharmacy today announced the launch of its prescription medication mail order program, which will serve more than 66,000 eligible employees who work for Northwell Health, New York State’s largest private employer. 

Vivo Health is a specialty pharmacy that provides services at many Northwell hospitals and ambulatory facilities, and has a 24-hour clinical call center. The Northwell-owned pharmacy will provide prescription coverage for employees in eligible medical insurance plans beginning August 1.

Northwell Health, which is self-insured, is replacing existing provider Express Scripts as part of an effort to streamline costs and the delivery of medication to better manage chronic diseases such arthritis, asthma and diabetes as well as serve any acute-care needs. The cost savings alone for the health system is estimated at $12 million annually.

“Our employees should see a higher quality of care as a result of bringing their prescription medication management under the Northwell umbrella,” said Onisis Stefas Pharm.D, Northwell’s chief pharmacy officer. “The new facility will allow for the highest level of accuracy through automation and faster delivery to ensure anyone suffering from a chronic medical condition never has to worry about running out of a potentially life-saving drug.”

Vivo Health operates pharmacies at eight Northwell locations in New York. Its new 15,000-square-foot fulfillment facility at 225 Community Drive, Suite 140, in Great Neck, was designed with efficiency in mind. Custom software, productivity workflows, smart shipping solutions and two pharmacy robots capable of automatically and accurately preparing more than 340 types of medication will help Vivo Health fulfill an estimated 500 prescriptions per day to start. 

“Vivo Health has been providing on-site and mail order pharmacy services on behalf of Northwell patients for nearly a decade,” said Mark Solazzo, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Northwell.  “With this robotic pharmacy technology and automated shipping services, we’re now able to offer the same high level of mail-order prescription services to our own 66,000 employees – at a savings of $12 million a year because we’re doing it ourselves.”

The Utilization Review Accreditation Commission named Vivo Health Pharmacy as a fully accredited specialty pharmacy, a designation bestowed on less than one percent of all pharmacies in the United States. Specialty pharmacies service patients with complex and chronic diseases, and often require medication that can be complicated to adhere to, difficult to access and expensive.

Northwell employees will continue to have the flexibility to fill their acute-care prescriptions at more than 60,000 participating retail pharmacies nationwide.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.

Contact:    
Jason Molinet
516-321-6705
[email protected]