An Rx for rising drug costs

By Regence
June 06, 2017

Health care consumers need transparency and choice to effectively manage prescription drug costs.

But do they have access to either?

That’s the question addressed by medical journalist Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal in her NPR interview about her book, An American Sickness. Rosenthal makes the point that Americans often lack the information they need to make the best health care decisions for themselves and their wallets.

Putting the safest, most effective medications in your employees’ hands is a big part of managing health and costs. That’s why integrating medical and pharmacy benefits is critical.

Also important is empowering employees to learn more about their medications so they can make the best treatment decisions for themselves.

Regence is providing both.

Integrated pharmacy and medical benefits

Integrated medical and pharmacy benefits have multiple advantages, including fewer administrative hassles, comprehensive health profiles that include medical and pharmacy claims and programs to help maintain health.   

Integrated coordination of benefits prevents employees from choosing a more expensive medication that doesn’t provide a better outcome, simply because it costs them less out of pocket.

And through our partnership with MedSavvy, Regence is able to provide the insight employees need to compare their medications.    

Transparency about treatments

MedSavvy is powered by pharmacists, who sift through the data and the science and assign easy-to-read, report-card-style grades to drugs. That means employees can easily compare medication costs, effectiveness and side effects.

Early feedback has been overwhelming positive. An employee using MedSavvy was able to find a generic version of a drug that was costing several hundred dollars a month.

We have yet to come up with a cure-all for prescription drug costs. But by providing employees with transparency about their prescriptions and the ability to make informed decisions about their medications, we can create happier, healthier and informed patients.