June 14, 2023

Recently, The Craneware Group has made some exciting, user-friendly updates to its Sentinel and Sentrex 340B compliance applications. They’re part of an ongoing effort to provide an excellent customer experience and simplify tasks for covered entities at a time when hospitals are struggling with labor shortages, contract pharmacy restrictions by manufacturers and escalating financial pressures.

Sentinel and Sentrex are The Craneware Group’s 340B split billing management systems for hospitals and contract pharmacies, respectively, and part of the Business of Pharmacy Analytics suite of applications to improve revenue, margin and compliance. The enhancements are as follows.

Sentinel hospital procurement

New price transparency

The most recent update to Sentinel is the Drug Pricing Reference, available to users who have access to the Wholesalers tab in SentryCore. Sentinel Drug Pricing allows users to search drug prices by account and all wholesalers with whom they have a contract.

The new capability helps covered entities:

  • Verify pricing for drug manufacturers that have placed restrictions on 340B contract pharmacies
  • Find ways to lower drug spending
  • Compare 340B cost to WAC and GPO pricing
  • Look up current and historical prices

Work is already under way to introduce more functionalities soon, including filters for specific manufacturers or drugs, and alerts for when drugs become available at 340B pricing.

SFTP delivery for scheduled reports

Another recent change gives users an easier way to access our schedulable reports and integrate them with their own hospital systems. Users now have the option of having Claims Report, Ordering Problems, Unreplenished Costs, Audit, and Bulk Dispensations Report and other commonly requested reports delivered straight to their Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) folder, where that data can be automatically integrated with their native systems.

Easier replenishment

In late 2022, we rolled out an upgrade centering on the task of creating purchase orders. Here, we’ve created a generic purchase order template that customers can manually import into Sentinel to review and place orders with any wholesaler they use to place orders.

Using the generic template, Sentinel users simply fill in the NDC or item number (or both), quantity, and designate the wholesaler account. The software will generate an order, split it and route it to any of the nearly 20 wholesalers with whom The Craneware Group has an electronic integration.

The new functionality represents a major time saver, and it allows users to complete a mock order to see how a given drug will split along 340B, GPO or WAC pricing.

“It really provides customers the ability to use Sentinel directly to build their orders, and in a much quicker way than with any of the wholesalers that they currently use,” said Dan Sorensen, Senior Product Manager for The Craneware Group.

More enhancements coming

More upgrades are planned for Sentinel to simplify the ordering experience, add more wholesaler integrations, and refresh the user interface.

One example expected to roll out in the coming months is a redesign of the ordering interface to make it more informative and easier to use. It will go to a single-page view that shows NDCs that have been split on a single line rather than vertically, and it will highlight areas where, because of the way a drug splits, users may want to investigate opportunities to find lower-cost options.

Sentrex 340B contract pharmacy

Easier claims reporting

With the current tally at 21 manufacturers, contract pharmacy exclusions arguably are the biggest issue for covered entities, many of whom are resigned to submit claims data using the 340B ESP platform to regain limited 340B pricing.

To make it easier for them, we’ve added a column labeled Restricted By in the Claims Report. It identifies manufacturers that have applied restrictions to certain NDCs and applies a filter so users can tailor their reports for specific manufacturers. Users can select one or multiple manufacturers for building reports.

Speeding pharmacy claims overrides

We’ve also added new functionality to the Claim Eligibility Management module to allow hospital users to upload a spreadsheet of claims to override in bulk, rather than on a single claim-by-claim basis.

Once completed, Sentrex will send an email to the user instructing them to log in and view the results of the override. Users can also undo overrides if they were done in error, and Sentrex will revert those claims back to their original state.

This functionality will make the task of changing claims eligibility much more efficient, with no need in most cases to call on Craneware Support to manually perform this service.

Pharmacy invoice report scheduler

This new functionality lets covered entities receive automated deliveries of invoice reports from contract pharmacy sites instead of pulling them individually. Users get two reports — a summary of all invoices by pharmacy location, and a detailed report listing all claims data at each location — sent to their Download Center, giving them a view of 340B pharmacy dispensations across their entire book of business.

These product enhancements are in keeping with The Craneware Group’s ongoing efforts to make applications more efficient and impactful to help transform the business of healthcare. More updates are on the way. In the meantime, you can provide your feedback or suggestions by emailing [email protected].