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Steven C. Zabriski

Steven Zabriski

B.S Pharm., M.B.A

Senior Director, Payer Strategies, Apexus, LLC

Member, Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners

Steven’s Story

As Senior Director, Payer Strategies at Apexus, LLC, Steven Zabriski is a key contributor to the successful growth of Acentrus Specialty, a unique specialty pharmacy solution representing 60+ prestigious health systems and top academic medical centers across the U.S. Steven coordinates and executes payer strategies to facilitate the inclusion of high-performing Acentrus member pharmacies in restricted payer networks. He has experience with PBMs, health systems, 340B, managed care, self-insured employers, and Taft-Hartley groups.

Leader, Educator, and Innovator

With more than 40 years of experience in the profession Steven has been focused on the practice of pharmacy outside the walls of a health system. This insight and experience, which includes expertise with payers, prescribers, and manufacturers, brings a unique perspective and understanding which he believes are vital to the long-term success of health system specialty pharmacies.

Steven’s experience in pharmacy includes retail, mail service, specialty pharmacy operations, Managed Care, PBM, clinical services, pharmacy benefits, analytics, IT, and sales and marketing. He considers himself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for outstanding and successful organizations and serving in many roles. Steven counts among his most important qualifications and strengths the experience and understanding of how pharmacy services are delivered to patients in the non-acute setting. This includes all the nuances of insurance, Medicare, PBMs, restricted networks, provider contracting, benefit consultants, and all the machinations of the payer community. It is his opinion that this insight and expertise will be crucial to the success of health systems in the area of specialty pharmacy.

Looking to the Future

Steven believes that success in specialty pharmacy for health systems will require excellence in the following areas: clinical, operations/administration, customer service, sales (prescribers and payers), product access, and payer access. Those areas most critical to the future practice and management of specialty pharmacy in health systems will be access to limited distribution drugs (LDD) and access or participation in payer provider networks. As the healthcare market evolves and non-acute services delivered by health systems grow, specialty pharmacy will become a more important avenue to maintain vital clinical relationships with patients necessary to optimize coordinated longitudinal care.

In the next 3 to 4 years Steven believes that the Section's Executive Committee should establish ASHP-based programming that leads the industry in robust clinical and business practices for specialty pharmacy including advanced certifications for both clinical and administrative practitioners. ASHP programming and events should be the leading industry professional events for deep relevant content across the whole spectrum of specialty pharmacy.

Going forward, Steven’s contribution as a member of the Section’s Executive Committee will be to encourage, design, and support the expansion of learning and training from the more traditional clinical and administrative services areas to the less traditional non-acute pharmacy and business practice areas that are necessary for specialty pharmacy success. In addition, he will help guide the legislative advocacy that will be required to allow health systems to gain access to products, payers, and fair reimbursement.

The Role of Professional Organizations

When considering the role of professional organizations like ASHP in specialty pharmacy Steven identified several areas that will have the greatest impact. This includes providing outstanding collaborative learning and educational environment for those seeking to grow their existing specialty pharmacy practice or start a specialty practice. Steven stated that areas of excellence in clinical services, administration, and operations already exist at ASHP and can be tailored to the special needs of specialty pharmacy. Significant new support can be added in crucial areas considered less traditional for ASHP such as sales (payer and provider), product access (LDD's), and payer access. The activity of ASHP in these areas may include education and training as well as legislative advocacy in order to support the success of health systems in this rapidly growing area.

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