Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

Prescription Drug Rates

AHIP: 25% of Opioid Prescriptions Top CDC Dosage Guidelines

February 8, 2018 - An AHIP retrospective analysis of claims data found that 25 percent of opioid prescriptions were above CDC dosage recommendation and provides a basic snapshot of problematic areas where payers could minimize patient safety risks related to opioids. Forty percent of chronically ill beneficiaries were prescribed a benzodiazepine treatment alongside an opioid prescription, which could create...


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GAO: CMS Needs More Data to Manage Medicare Opioid Risks

by Thomas Beaton

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that CMS should collect additional data on Medicare beneficiary opioid risks, including the number of beneficiaries with high-dose opioid prescriptions, the number of providers that overprescribe...

Payers, Providers Pledge to Improve Prior Authorizations

by Thomas Beaton

AHIP, BCBSA, AHA, and other leading payer and provider organizations announced an industry pledge to improve the efficiency of prior authorizations while reducing administrative burden. Leaders of organizations participating in the pledge claim...

Payers Leverage Data, Wellness Benefits to Address Opioid Abuse

by Thomas Beaton

Providing substance use disorder (SUD) treatment options and making investments in beneficiary drug safety is a critical component of wellness programs, considering that the White House deemed opioid abuse a public health emergency in 2017. In...

Outcomes-Based Contracts Offer Payers New Pharmaceutical Options

by Thomas Beaton

Payers may be more willing to provide their beneficiaries with genetic drug therapies that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars if they enter into outcomes-based pharmaceutical contracts that lessen financial risks. An outcomes-based pharmaceutical...

Wellness, Preventive Care to Drive Employer Health Plans in 2018

by Thomas Beaton

Employer-sponsored health plans are expected to widely embrace value-based purchasing agreements and patient engagement technologies that improve employee wellness programs and preventive care, according to the National Business Group on Health...

How Payers Can Streamline Prior Authorization for Prescriptions

by Thomas Beaton

Prior authorization may allow payers to limit unnecessary spending on high-cost prescription drugs, but leading provider experts suggest that payers could do more to boost the efficiency of prior authorization procedures for clinically valid...

Consumers Support Laws to Limit Payer Prescription Switching

by Thomas Beaton

The vast majority of patients living with chronic diseases would support legislation to limit a payer’s ability to switch their prescriptions without medical necessity, according to a new series of surveys.   Ninety-four percent of...

Aetna to Waive Narcan Co-Pays, Combat Opioid Overprescribing

by Thomas Beaton

Aetna will be the first national payer to waive Narcan co-pays for fully-insured members as part of a larger effort to address the nation’s opioid crisis, the payer announced in a press release. Narcan is considered a preferred branded...

Senate Hearing Opens Policy Discussion on Prescription Drug Costs

by Thomas Beaton

At a Senate HELP Committee hearing this month, policy experts and advocacy groups suggested several strategies that could lower prescription drug costs, including removing Medicare Part D cost-sharing, increasing federal oversight of the pharmaceutical...

Prescription Drug Spending Cuts Require Payer Policy Changes

by Thomas Beaton

The US’s current prescription drug policies require updates that cut prescription drug spending while increasing competition in the market, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) found. A...

CVS Caremark Provides Real-Time Benefits Data to Pharmacies

by Thomas Beaton

CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) of CVS Health, will provide pharmacies and prescribers with real-time benefits data on patients as a way to reduce payer and patient drug costs, the organization announced in a press release. The...

The Pros and Cons of Pharmacy Benefits Managers for Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Prescription drug spending is a billion-dollar problem for the payer industry. While pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are often a positive way for payers to manage prescription drug benefits for their members, savings for payers can be limited...

11 Healthcare Payers to Enhance Substance Use Treatment Access

by Thomas Beaton

Executives from 11 healthcare payers have pledged to enhance substance use disorder (SUD) treatment access and offer provider incentives to more effectively address opioid misuse and other substance use issues. In a joint letter, payer executives...

Payer Strategies for Improving Member Medication Adherence Rates

by Thomas Beaton

Payers are spending billions of dollars annually on medications that aren’t improving the health outcomes, with financial and health literacy proving to be the most common barriers to adherence. Avoidable healthcare spending totaling between...

Why the Generic Drug Market is a Growing Payer Opportunity

by Thomas Beaton

As payers try to ease the rising costs of prescription drugs, which account for 10 percent of national healthcare spending, they may wish to turn to the generic drug market to help curb unnecessary spending and improve profitability.   Generics...

Improving Price Transparency around Generic Drugs for Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Increasing pricing transparency around generic drugs could offer significant advantages to payers, including lower prices and more favorable reimbursement negotiations, according to a report from USC Brookings. Better understanding of contracting...

3 Value-Based Pharmaceutical Contracting Options for Payers

by Thomas Beaton

Value-based pharmaceutical contracting offers health payers the option to lower drug prices while improving patient outcomes. These contracts come in several different forms, according to Dr. Surya Singh, Chief Medical Officer of CVS Specialty,...

AHIP Launches Initiative To Combat Nationwide Opioid Crisis

by Thomas Beaton

AHIP launched the Safe, Transparent Opioid Prescribing (STOP) Initiative to support health plans’ widespread adoption of clinical guidelines for pain care and opioid prescribing, and combat the national opioid crisis, the organization announced...

Only 30% of Employers Get Pharmacy Benefit Manager Contracts

by Thomas Beaton

Only 30 percent of employers have a complete understanding of their pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) contracts, according to a new survey from the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC). Just 40 percent of the 88 employers participating in the survey...

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