Companies Looking to Cut Healthcare Costs
No surprise; employers are looking to cut healthcare costs. That’s the finding
of CVS Caremark’s annual survey of employers’ priorities for pharmacy benefit
management services in 2010.
According to the research, 94 percent of employers are looking for opportunities
to save even more on employee healthcare programs while, perhaps unrealistically,
seeking to “improve the overall member experience.”
“The economic environment continues to impact companies this year, with 66
percent telling us that reducing overall health care costs is their number
one success measure,” said Jack Bruner, executive vice president, strategic
development, Caremark Pharmacy Services. “Employers tell us they are looking
for more aggressive solutions to increase generic utilization and manage specialty
pharmacy costs, while also focusing on programs to increase medication adherence
and manage chronic diseases.”
In terms of managing costs, 48 percent of employers are considering plans
that require generic medication equivalents to be used in place of branded
drugs. Fifty-six percent are considering waiving a co-payment for members who
use generics instead of brand medications.
Employers are also seeking to increase medication adherence to avoid the
added costs that often occur when people do not take drugs prescribed to deal
with chronic illnesses.
Discussion Questions: Is it within the power of businesses
to cut their healthcare costs without
cutting benefits to employees? How successful have pharmacy benefit management
services been in actual cost reduction for businesses?
- CVS Caremark Annual Employer Survey Finds Majority of Employers Rate Managing
Costs as Top Priority in 2010 – CVS Caremark