United Drugs is pleased to be working with Dr. Berg on his innovative employee healthcare solutions
Phoenix, AZ (Vocus) February 3, 2009
Amidst a tough economic climate, employers have been looking for ways to tighten the reins. This is especially true when it comes to cost-cutting on health benefits, reevaluating insurance premiums, and taking a closer look at the cost of prescriptions utilized to treat an employee’s condition. These important topics were points of discussion at a recent meeting of two Phoenix-based entities: Arrowhead Health and United Drugs Prescription Benefit Management (PBM).
The goal was to determine how the large medical clinic with 105 employees could not only reduce its employee health insurance and prescription benefit claim costs by 15 percent, but also to find a means of educating both its physicians and employees regarding the use of the most appropriate services/ specialists. This would include the use of lower cost generic drugs and brand drugs, thus helping Arrowhead Health and its employees save money. Key to the education process was helping its employees understand that health care consumerism is much more than knowing what their copay is.
How did they accomplish this? United Drugs was tasked with something fresh and new. By using a unique prescription benefit program only a few organizations are utilizing within their existing self-funded employee health plan. The prescription benefit plan includes setting up a consumer-driven, self-funded prescription discount program combined with proactive and informative tools that Arrowhead employees and doctors can use at any time. These tools include: 1) access to a Bashas’ ® discount program that includes a formulary of $3.99 generic drugs; 2) web sites that recommend less costly brand and generic drug alternatives (Drug Digest); and 3) a web portal (Epocrates) that provides average retail costs. Both web sites were designed to aid, not replace proper prescribing from a physician.
“We have a saying here ‘Ask Before You Act’ and this ties into the interactions our employees have when they see their doctor,” said Dr. David Berg, CEO for Arrowhead Health. “Because we are a big believer in having our employees aware of and involved in the process, they are becoming more informed and accountable for making cost-conscious prescription drug selections; that is, when choice is an option.” He added, “Although we have a great relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield as our primary insurer, we are very confident United Drugs will help us solve this important piece of our benefits puzzle.”
When this pharmacy benefit program is used effectively and in a clinically-appropriate manner, it can help control the per claim cost while adding a benefit to the employee. Because Arrowhead Health has a self-funded plan, every dime that is saved by the employee goes back into a collective “pool” the company has created. By utilizing the online tools, employees and their physicians can be proactive about prescription costs and make informed decisions that assist in keeping the employer's costs down.
“United Drugs is pleased to be working with Dr. Berg on his innovative employee healthcare solutions,” said Elizabeth Schrader, United Drugs’ Vice President of Finance and Operations. “We are partnering in a direction that promotes informed healthcare decisions on the part of his employees. We represent a pharmacy network that is price competitive and service-oriented through an innovative pharmacy benefit management model. Together, we enable pharmacy utilization that is informed, accountable, and consumer-driven.”
About Arrowhead Health:
At Arrowhead Health, it’s all about radical convenience. The multi-specialty team of family physicians, pain & injury management specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists are committed to a customer-centered approach of making health care easier. Arrowhead Health's Knee Arthritis Program™ has been recognized by Fox 10 News as among the best in the Phoenix area. And no more inconveniences of being referred all over town. Arrowhead Health’s One-Stop Advantage™ helps patients receive complete and high quality health care, all under one roof. Contact Arrowhead Health by calling 623-334-4000 or go to Arrowhead Health.
About United Drugs:
Founded in 1989, United Drugs Prescription Benefit Management (PBM) is a division of American Associated Druggists, Inc. United Drugs PBM has the ability to successfully develop and deliver clinically sound, cost-effective, and customizable prescription benefit programs based on individual client needs. Its clients range from small-to-medium employers, five Arizona Medicaid plans, long-term care facilities, physician groups, hospice groups as well as local and national employer groups. For more information, call 800-364-8865 #4 or go to United Drugs.