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How Combining Pharmacy & Medical Helps You Save

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There’s a popular notion that you can save on health care by cutting away pharmacy benefits (“carving-out”). It’s tempting, especially considering the rising cost of prescription drugs — from 2012 to 2017 alone, the cost of pharmacy benefits increased by 76%1. But is this actually what’s best for your business? Truth is, carving-out can make matters worse. On the other hand, when you integrate pharmacy with medical benefits, it pays itself off down the road. Here are three proven ways that happens:

1) Fewer Dangerous Drug Interactions
With an integrated approach, it’s easier to keep an eye out for unsafe interactions between the medications your employees are taking. By notifying a doctor or pharmacist, the right parties can intervene sooner, keeping employees healthy and avoiding expenses such as visits to the ER. What’s more — employees with integrated benefits are 22% more likely to engage in programs that involve health coaching or care management2.


2) Better Adherence to Medications
Medication non-adherence costs the health care system nearly $300 billion per year3. Not to mention what this costs businesses in terms of employee sick time and loss of productivity. You and your employees can both save money and stay healthier when there’s a supportive system encouraging best patient practices. This also means preventing future health risks and gaining what could be serious financial ground.

3) No Surprising Fees
When you cut out pharmacy coverage and rely on a pharmacy benefits manager, many of the fees are hidden, such as claims integration and reporting fees. With integrated medical and pharmacy coverage, you’re typically only responsible for a base fee. And that means more savings over time.

These are just a few reasons that combining pharmacy with medical coverage can help you save. You will find even more ways that integration benefits you and your employees when you download a free, helpful infographic from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. You’ll see how you can cut costs and improve services, while keeping employees healthy, happy, and productive.

To download this infographic, go here.

Photos provided by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

1 JAMA Network Open, 2017.
2 Cigna National 2018 Value of Integration Study.
3 Network for Excellence in Health Innovation