AIS Healthcare's Evolution and Growth
AIS Healthcare began as a single pharmacy in Ridgeland, Mississippi, 15 years ago and has grown into a more complete healthcare provider, serving patients across America in some of their most important times of need. Here’s how AIS Healthcare serves its patients and doctors with the highest quality care and services.
“For the past fifteen years, AIS Healthcare has delivered care and support for our patients that makes their days easier and lives better. We go beyond what is expected to set higher quality standards for targeted drug delivery and infusion care, enabling an improved quality of life for our patients,” said Simon Castellanos, AIS Healthcare Chief Executive Officer.
The Evolution and Growth of AIS Healthcare
AIS Healthcare is now the leading provider of targeted drug delivery (TDD) and infusion care solutions.
Established in 2008, AIS Healthcare has grown to eight locations across six states. Through TDD and infusion therapies, AIS Healthcare helps tens of thousands of Americans manage their chronic pain and treat immunodeficiencies.
Its two compounding pharmacies — in Ridgeland, Mississippi, and Dallas, Texas — are focused on providing patient-specific prescriptions for TDD. Compounding pharmacies require special licenses and must adhere to rigorous quality standards to ensure patient safety. Pharmacists who compound patient specific prescriptions are required by state pharmacy boards to comply with stringent guidelines. These facilities are designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as 503A compounding pharmacies.
TDD utilizes specific treatments, medications, or doses designed to an individual patient’s specific needs and delivers it intrathecally via the patient’s spinal canal. AIS Healthcare's TDD division provides care to over 34,000 patients requiring such treatments.
AIS Healthcare’s six Advanced Infusion Care (AIC) locations (Valdosta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; Clinton, Mississippi; Panama City, Florida; Cockeysville, Maryland; and Dallas, Texas) specialize in intravenous and subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy patient care.
Infusion therapy is the administration of medication or fluids intravenously or subcutaneously in a controlled manner. AIS Healthcare’s AIC division provides care for over 2,200 patients nationwide.
AIS Healthcare doesn’t just supply the treatments and therapies its patients need, they are with them all the way — in their homes, hospitals, and doctors’ offices, providing care, education, and support throughout the entire healthcare process.
Not long after it was established, AIS Healthcare set up a medical advisory board and brought on an in-house medical director for both its TDD and AIC divisions. Castellanos also said that input from patients, nurses, and physicians is critical in the development of AIS Healthcare’s protocols for care and services.
“I believe we're one of the only specialty pharmacy companies that has developed a medical advisory board for TDD,” Castellanos shared. “We work with physicians who are key thought leaders in the country and provide us insight on how we can meet the highest standards of safety and quality in our medications and services in order to provide optimal care for our patients.”
AIS Healthcare Today
Early on, AIS Healthcare developed a state-of-the-art pharmacy to ensure that it provided the best quality of care and met high patient safety standards when it came to TDD. It used the same model of service and precision when it began offering infusion and immunoglobulin therapies.
“We have developed these businesses as centers of excellence, where we have dedicated resources that focus on enhancing the quality of care we provide our patients,” said Castellanos. “We believe that our commitment to safety and quality is a key differentiator and is difficult to replicate in the market.”
Of the more than 34,000-plus patients AIS Healthcare’s TDD division services, about 60 percent have been with them for over five years. The healthcare provider works with more than 1,700 physicians, and about 50 percent of those doctors have also been with AIS Healthcare for more than five years.
“When you think in terms of the longevity of the therapy — but also the commitment that we have made to patients and providers — it is evident why they have chosen AIS Healthcare,” Castellanos added.
AIC, the company’s immunoglobulin division, also services close to 700 physicians, caring for patients around the country out of AIC’s locations in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Maryland.
About 97 percent of AIC’s patients have high rates of adherence to their medication, and about 98 percent of its patients are serviced by AIC nurses.
“That continuity of care not only enhances the quality of the therapies that we provide, but it also ensures that the patients remain in therapy for a longer period of time if their medical condition requires them to do so. That improves quality of care and outcomes for those patients receiving therapy from us,” said Castellanos.
Quality Assurance of the Highest Possible Confidence
Part of the AIS Healthcare philosophy is to bring patients the highest quality of treatment. The company is dually accredited by URAC and the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), which sets it apart from other compounding pharmacies and infusion services providers.
URAC is an independent nonprofit organization that helps ensure patients receive quality healthcare by accrediting health plans, pharmacies, providers, and more. Its role is to set the highest standards in healthcare quality and safety. The URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation is the gold standard for TDD and infusion care providers, demonstrating to health insurers and manufacturers that a specialty pharmacy promotes positive patient outcomes and consistently delivers the level of quality that patients deserve. AIS Healthcare achieved the accreditation by meeting high industry standards to produce medications of the highest quality and sterility and has the patient management and service required to help the people they care for.
On top of its URAC accreditation, AIS Healthcare also holds a certification from ACHC — an independent third-party validation that the company’s policies, processes, and care delivery meet recognized standards for quality and safety.
State-of-the-Art Facilities and Expanding Treatments
AIS Healthcare is continually striving to improve the lives of its patients. Earlier this year, its AIC division expanded its pharmacy in Valdosta with a new design to enhance its ability to deliver services throughout the Southeast and beyond.
The Georgia property was purchased in 2017, and the newly equipped, state-of-the-art facilities are now AIC’s largest pharmacy. The location has nearly 40 licensed professionals — expanding AIC’s footprint and service provision in the Southeast and across the country. The updated layout expands production areas and boosts staff efficiency. Like all AIS Healthcare facilities, the focus at Valdosta is on safety, providing treatments of the highest quality and comprehensive, patient-focused services.
The list of treatments AIS Healthcare provides is also continually expanding. Recently, its AIC division began offering the infusion therapy LEQEMBI™, developed by Eisai Co., Ltd., and used in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Approved by the FDA for intravenous use, the medication can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease in people who have mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia.
Earlier in the year, AIC began offering GAMMAKED™ — a treatment that helps people fight immunodeficiency diseases.
Comprehensive Health Care Services
All AIS Healthcare patients receive a high level of care that includes 24/7 access to clinical and support staff. Every patient has a dedicated team of professionals at their disposal from their first interaction with the company throughout their treatment plan.
AIS Healthcare’s intake managers review and check the health and insurance benefits for patients. These professionals gather all the documentation needed for clinical or payer approvals, and they call patients within 24 hours of receiving referrals to let patients know they’re working on verifying benefits.
As part of its healthcare service, AIS Healthcare’s caregivers are experts in what they do. For instance, when an AIS Healthcare nurse goes to a patient's home to administer a therapy, they know exactly how the therapy works and what the key triggers are for the patient’s optimal treatment. AIS Healthcare nurses take care of their patients in a more holistic way. It’s a different service model than some other providers, which outsource their nursing staff.
From the highest quality of medications to patient-focused nursing care and 24/7 financial and educational support, AIS Healthcare provides comprehensive healthcare services for physicians and their patients.