Unlocking Reimbursement Solutions for Oncology Drugs

DKP helps biopharma companies navigate the complex world of healthcare reimbursement. DKP’s Analysts needed a more efficient, sustainable tool to manage coverage data than the Excel solution they had been using.

Together, we built a web-based tool that serves as the hub for DKP’s client-facing work. All the tasks previously performed in the Excel solution are now done more quickly, easily, and accurately in the new tool.

What We Did

Web Development, Full Stack Development, Product Management, Collaborative Product Discovery, Systems Thinking, Flow Design

Tech Stack

Ruby on Rails, Postgres, Algolia, Heroku, Stimulus JS


Our client, DK Pierce (DKP), partners with biopharma companies to unlock strategic reimbursement and market access solutions for cancer, rare disease, and gene/cellular therapies.  

One important service that DKP provides their clients is DKP PayerScope(R) Market Intelligence and Analytics, a subscription based service that tracks pertinent drug/treatment coverage and reimbursement information for Commercial and government payers and provides time-sensitive coverage information and robust analytics to their clients. 

It can be difficult for pharmaceutical manufacturers to make strategic decisions and for providers and patients to know what drugs they can access. Constant changes in the healthcare reimbursement environment, nuanced reimbursement methods, and laws that vary state by state make this a complicated domain to manage.

DKP internally developed a complicated Excel tool to store and analyze coverage data. DKP’s Analysts did all of their data entry in this tool and used it to create custom reports for their clients.

While the Excel tool got the job done, it didn’t track changes well, broke easily, ran slowly, and required lots of manual work. DKP needed something more functional, user-friendly, and sustainable to continue to scale their business. DKP hired us to move all of this functionality out of Excel and into a web app.

desktop screen of patient pricing portal


To get started, we dove into the massive Excel sheet that encapsulated DKP’s workflow. We deconstructed the thousands of rows and hundreds of columns to understand the data they use in their business.

After wrapping our heads around the data models, we began establishing the product’s direction with DKP. We wanted to strike a balance between DKP’s established patterns and new experience-enhancing elements. Once we designed and built a workflow for one type of monitoring they do, we were able to quickly implement the workflow for the others.

Our team shadowed and interviewed DKP’s Reimbursement Analysts to understand their workflow and domain. We analyzed existing client deliverables to find constraints and brainstormed how to meet users’ needs by using or adapting existing patterns. We used these learnings to design and build prototypes of features, deliver them to DKP’s Analysts, get feedback, and adapt.

We approached the transition from old system to new by migrating tasks over gradually. This allowed us to get feedback from day-to-day use, which directed future decisions and tweaks to existing features.

Once all of the core functionality was set up in the new tool, we built several other types of features: functionality that DKP’s clients can use, features that speed up DKP’s processes, and features that allow DKP to provide additional offerings to their clients.

One of those features was a Custom Monitoring Field that we added to DKP’s standard reports. These fields allow DKP to gather and provide data outside of standard policy information. This is a differentiator for DKP because many of their competitors do not offer this information.

We also built a user-friendly Client Portal where DKP’s clients can access their reports and other deliverables. 

Lastly, we built publicly accessible “mini-sites” called Interactive Maps that display coverage information to pharmaceutical manufacturers and patients in a digestible way. These maps are now a recurring revenue stream for DKP that augments revenue from their project-based consulting services.


The new tool is the hub for DKP’s client-facing work. All the tasks previously performed in the Excel solution are now done more quickly, easily, and accurately in the new tool. DKP no longer does manual data entry or handles critical client data in Excel. Gone are the days of emailing files around and accidentally deleting Excel formulas.

Now that this workflow is quick and sustainable, DKP is able to create new offerings for their clients. The features we added to the tool are just the beginning of the innovative ideas DKP can now implement.

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