TPA Finds Member Education an Effective Way to Help Combat Rising Prescription Costs

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A third party administrator (TPA) specializing in self-funded health plans, Cypress Benefit Administrators has partnered with Magellan Health to help control rising prescription costs on behalf of its employer-clients. The TPA shares how innovative member education has been an essential tactic in this cost control effort.

Cypress Benefit Administrators
The more members understand about the prescription drugs they are taking, the more proactive they are becoming about managing their medication and treatment needs.

Focused on ways to contain health benefit costs on behalf of its employer-clients since 2000, Cypress Benefit Administrators now offers a prescription cost management program that emphasizes employee education.

The Midwest-based third party administrator (TPA) began partnering with Magellan Health to offer the Magellan Rx Management solution as a proactive way to manage the prescription price increases plans are commonly experiencing. With the program, educating members through creative, cutting-edge technology is a fundamental – and effective – element.

One example of this member education is the QR codes printed on several frequently prescribed medications. When members receive their prescriptions, they can use their smartphones to scan QR codes printed directly on the packaging and access customized videos designed to inform them about:

  •     Medication information
  •     Dosage details
  •     How-to administration guidance
  •     Common benefits
  •     Common side effects

Along with this video access, there are links that allow member clients to connect to a call center, set up reminders and go directly to a website with more detailed information on their prescription drugs.

According to Tom Doney, president and CEO of Cypress, providing employees with this added information through Magellan Rx Management is having a positive impact. “The more members understand about the prescription drugs they are taking, the more proactive they are becoming about managing their medication and treatment needs.” He added, “Instead of just taking a specialty drug because that’s what was ordered, they’re working more closely with their providers and exploring their options.”

Doney explained that a big part of the issue related to rising prescription costs in the last few years is the fact that the number of specialty New Molecular Entity (NME) drugs now outnumbers the traditional/generic ones. He also said that the increased prescription usage and costs so many health benefit plans are experiencing correlate to an aging population with more Medicaid and Medicare participants.

With the end goal to contain prescription costs and increase the utilization of traditional/generic drugs, another educational tactic in place is the new patient engagement program that includes a welcome kit and follow-up call to open the lines of communication. Member patients are also connected with care coordinators in all stages of drug therapy.

“The problem with escalating prescription costs is going to get more out of hand if we don’t take measures now to address it,” Doney said. “By reaching out to them, employees see the costs of some of these specialty drugs and learn about more cost-effective alternatives available and they become part of the solution.”

Cypress’s partnership with Magellan Health also focuses on tracking pharmacy data on behalf of its employer-clients and monitoring the ongoing drug costs/trends associated with plans.

A privately held company headquartered in Appleton, Wis., Cypress Benefit Administrators has been pioneering the way toward cost containment in self-funded health benefits since 2000. The third party administrator (TPA) is the country’s first to bring claims administration, consumer driven health plans and proven cost control measures together into one package for companies ranging from 50 employees to thousands of employees. It serves employer-clients across the U.S. with additional locations in Portland and Salem, Ore., Omaha, Neb. and Denver, Col. For more information on Cypress and its customized employee benefits, visit

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Dave Willems
Willems Marketing & Events
+1 920.750.5013
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Tom Doney
Cypress Benefit Administrators
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