There’s no denying that the healthcare industry is evolving at a rapid pace. New technologies and discoveries are being made all the time, which means that the way people deliver care has to change along with it. One area that has seen a lot of change in recent years is pharmacy benefit management (PBM).
PBMs have come under fire in recent years for their role in rising prescription drug costs. As such, they have been forced to make some changes in the way they do business. Here’s a look at some of the ways PBMs are changing the way people handle prescriptions and other aspects of benefits.
Increased Transparency and Communication
One of the main complaints about PBMs is that they are not transparent enough about the fees they charge and the discounts they negotiate. This lack of transparency often leads to confusion and frustration on the part of both patients and providers. In response to this criticism, PBMs are starting to be more transparent about their fees and discounting practices.
This increased transparency will go a long way towards building trust between PBMs and those they serve. It will also help to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to prescription costs. As with any industry, the more communication between parties, the better. A reliable leading workers’ compensation PBM with a positive reputation in the industry can help to guide your organization when it comes to managing your pharmacy benefits program and communicating with those who are most affected by these policies.
Benefit Managers and Healthcare Plans
In many cases, the overall landscape of healthcare dictates how businesses should approach this sensitive issue. In response to social and political issues, both companies offering benefits programs and pharmacy benefit management companies have to respond in a way that appeals to employees. This was seen in recent times with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act.
One of the ACA’s primary goals is to expand access to affordable healthcare coverage. The ACA created state-based health insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can purchase health insurance plans. These plans must offer a minimum level of coverage – including prescription drug coverage—but they can be customized to meet the needs of each individual or business.
Because one size does not fit all when it comes to health insurance plans, PBMs have become invaluable partners for health insurers. PBMs use their bargaining power and expertise to negotiate favourable prescription drug prices on behalf of health insurers and their policyholders. This helps keep premiums affordable while still providing high-quality coverage.
Greater Use of Technology
PBMs are third-party administrators of prescription drug programs. They are responsible for processing and reimbursing prescription claims, negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers, and providing drugs through pharmacy networks. In other words, they play a vital role in ensuring that patients have access to the medications they need, and technology is a necessary piece of the puzzle.
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, and PBMs are no exception. Many PBMs are now using technology to streamline their operations and improve efficiency. For example, some PBMs are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help identify fraud and abuse. Others are using it to improve patient engagement or predict drug shortages. The advent of AI and machine learning, among other technologies, will continue to impact the way companies handle benefits.
Patient Empowerment Through Information
The increased use of technology will help PBMs keep up with the ever-changing healthcare landscape. It will also allow them to provide a higher level of service to their clients. In turn, patients now have more knowledge and access to information than ever before. These factors, among others, lead to greater empowerment, allowing patients and employees to better select a plan that works for their individual needs.
Patient data collection leads to greater accuracy for health insurers and those who manage pharmacy benefits. Trying to juggle these variables as a large organization often proves difficult, which is why so many people outsource this type of work to an external management company.
If you are struggling to give your patients the tools, they need to select the right plan, then it may be time to consider outsourcing to a dedicated pharmacy benefit management company. Several changes are taking place in the realm of healthcare and pharmacy benefits management.
These changes include increased transparency and greater use of technology. By making these changes, PBMs can rebuild trust with those they serve and better meet the needs of a changing healthcare landscape.