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  • Avera Health, Regional Health Are Key Stakeholders In Excelera® Specialty Pharmacy Network

Published on January 30, 2014

Avera Health, Regional Health Are Key Stakeholders In Excelera® Specialty Pharmacy Network


SIOUX FALLS (Jan. 30, 2014) – Avera Health and Regional Health announce a commitment of resources, expertise and investment capital to support ExceleraRx Corp., a new model of integrated care for patients who require specialty drugs.

ExceleraRx Corp., a national network of specialty pharmacies based at health systems, was formed in 2012 to enable member organizations to gain access to limited-distribution drugs and provide continuity of care for patients with complex conditions. Avera and Regional Health are joined in this venture by Fairview Health Services of Minneapolis; Catholic Health Initiatives based in Denver; Intermountain Healthcare of Salt Lake City; Henry Ford Health System of Detroit; and Marshfield Clinic based in Eau Claire, Wis.

“We are thrilled to partner with these visionary health care organizations in the forming of Excelera,” said Dr. Dave Kapaska, Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.  “Through the Excelera network, we are collaborating with these partners to establish best-practice care protocols, and effective management of specialty pharmaceuticals for the best possible patient outcomes.”

Avera Health and Regional Health were among founding members that developed the vision for Excelera. “As we move into an era of Accountable Care Organizations, we will be responsible for managing covered lives. The Excelera network gives us an even greater ability to deliver high-quality care while controlling costs,” said Steve Petersen, Assistant Vice President for Pharmacy Services at Avera McKennan.

Specialty pharmaceuticals are expensive drugs that may require special handing and administration and are often used to treat the most ill and clinically complex patients, with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cancer or rheumatoid arthritis.

Within the conventional pharmacy model, providers cannot easily monitor whether patients with complicated illnesses are taking medicines properly or getting the best benefit from the medication.

The comprehensive, integrated Excelera approach enables physicians to manage the full spectrum of patient care. “Specialty drugs represent the fastest-growing segment of health care today. These are high-cost drugs with narrow indications. The Excelera network not only helps with access, but also careful management of these drugs, so that our health systems will not incur costs due to inappropriate or ineffective use of specialty drugs,” Petersen said.

The Excelera network will negotiate on behalf of its member organizations to remove barriers to specialty drug access and monitoring. Patients and providers of health systems in the Excelera network will benefit by working with a specialty pharmacy that is a member of their care team, can easily access specialty pharmaceuticals, and knows the patient’s care plan.

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About Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center

Avera McKennan is part of an integrated delivery network that includes Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., as well as 115 locations in more than 50 communities in four states. Our ministry, our people and our superior value distinguish Avera. We carry on the health care legacy of the Benedictine and Presentation Sisters, delivering care in an environment guided by our values of compassion, hospitality and stewardship. Avera McKennan is a member of Avera Health, a network which has over 13,000 employees and physicians, serving more than 300 locations and 100 communities in a five-state region. For more information about Avera McKennan, see our website at

About Regional Health

Regional Health provides a continuum of care through its hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Regional Health includes Regional Hospitals and Clinics, Regional Medical Clinics, Regional Urgent Care, Regional Senior Care, Regional Cancer Care Institute, Regional Heart Doctors, Regional Rehabilitation Institute and Regional Behavioral Health Center, all serving communities in western South Dakota, as well as neighboring counties in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. Visit for more information about Regional Health.