- Integrating pharmacy benefits with medical benefits can help to improve overall health and reduce employer costs, according to a new study released by Cigna.
Individuals with connected medical, behavioral and pharmacy health benefits through Cigna experienced a 10 percent reduction in high-cost claims and a 9 percent reduction in out-of-network claims. In addition, employers saw an annual savings of $193 for each covered person and $645 annually for each person that experienced improvements in overall health.
The findings indicate that individuals with connected benefits are more likely to experience better healthcare outcomes, the payer said.
“A person’s physical and mental health are connected, and health care is best delivered – and produces the best outcomes – when it is connected as well,” said Scott Josephs, MD, national medical officer at Cigna. “The results of this study demonstrate the value of our integrated, holistic approach to health care, and we’ll continue to advocate for more integration on behalf of the people we serve.”
Integrated benefits also helped Cigna’s commercial members improve their healthcare behaviors and assisted employers in lowering the cost of managing chronic conditions.
Beneficiaries with integrated benefits were 22 percent more likely than other members to engage in health coaching and care management programs.
Employers sponsoring health plan benefits through Cigna created annual cost savings of $9792 for integrated benefit customers with specialty conditions such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. Employers also generated an average annual cost savings of $5900 for diabetic patients.
“When people are actively engaged in their health and well-being, we see improvement across all metrics,” said Jon Maesner, PharmD, chief pharmacy officer at Cigna. “Offering a fully-connected pharmacy benefit allows us to maximize every opportunity available to engage the people we serve, and we’re encouraged by the consistent value shown by connecting medical, behavioral and pharmacy benefits.”