The Employer's Guide Blog for Overseeing PBMs

The Definition of Oversee: to watch over and direct (an undertaking, a group of workers, etc.) in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome or performance.

4 PBM Trends to Watch — And, Yes, Transparency is One of Them [Weekly Roundup]

4 PBM Trends to Watch — And, Yes, Transparency is One of Them and other notes from around the interweb:

  • 4 PBM Trends to Watch — And, Yes, Transparency is One of Them. The industry’s tradition of conducting complicated reviews of a year of claims and drug spend and advice to clients based on those copious reports needs to change to one that uses software and automation to review claims (and rebates) in near real time. Continuous Monitoring or CM identifies performance issues before they get out of hand. Audits typically occur 12 – 24 months after the fact which is too late to recoup most of any potential overpayments. Continuous Monitoring on the other hand, catches and resolves overpayments or other issues much faster.
  • How specialty drug ‘solution stacking’ can rein in pharmacy benefit costs. Brokers and employer groups alike know that 5% to 10% percent of insured workers and their dependents drive 50% to 60% of the cost of pharmacy claims. A few members with prescriptions for a specialty drug with a five-figure price tag can easily represent most of an entire group’s pharmacy spend. These drugs are often lifesaving or provide a dramatic quality of life improvement for those who take them. No one would question the necessity of using them. But when a group can mitigate some of the cost without affecting the clinical outcome, it can be a game changer. The broker who unlocks these savings becomes a trusted ally.
  • 3 reasons why owning pharmacy benefits data matters. The Federal Trade Commission is pushing PBMs for greater transparency to help employers take control of their prescription costs. But what is transparency without access to plan data or performance analytics? Currently, employers are disempowered because too many don’t own their data, must pay extra to get access to what should already be theirs, or only receive partial access. These PBM practices of obscuring data have led to significant distrust from all stakeholders. To fix a broken system, the data being hidden by these third parties needs to be freed to provide employers and plan members with the information they need to find the path to lower costs.

Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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