healthcare

Rx Shock: Ever Faced A 900% Increase Nearly Overnight? You’re Not Alone.

We are finding some crazy Rx trends that are translating into real world cost and care issues for our clients and their employees. Here’s a prime example. We recently found that a type 2 diabetes drug (GLUMETZA) increased in cost by 900%, nearly overnight.

After digging into it here’s what we found:

• An investment firm purchased the manufacturer
• The price of the drug quickly spiked under the new ownership
• The drug had a specific efficacy but was prescribed widely

HEALTHCARE COSTS: YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS!

We read and hear a lot about the craziness and wild swings in pricing for common medical services. Some seem too incredulous to believe. Healthcare’s version of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

OK. So here’s a true story. Hot off the presses. Happened just this week to someone in our sphere.

Trick or Treat…which do you prefer in your healthcare?

For a little Halloween fun, I’ve compiled a few articles that have to do with healthcare tricks and treats. All related to Obamacare, or the Affordable Healthcare Act, of course…

Trick: Gov. Kasich’s four Obamacare tricks by Washington Examiner

Treat: Ebola: Obamacare’s ultimate pre-existing condition by The Fiscal Times

Trick: Government close to closing loophole that lets employers offer substandard insurance by The Washington Post

Most Large Employers Are Keeping Coverage: Mandates, Rules and All

More on what large U.S. employers are choosing to do in the wake of added Obamacare mandates, rules and general confusion over what to do. A recent national survey shows one percent of employers have decided to stop providing health care this year while approximately five percent have decided they will exit the health care system completely. This information is from a survey of large employers conducted by Aon Hewitt, a large employee benefits consulting firm,

According to Jim Winkler, chief innovation officer for health and benefits at Aon Hewitt, “Employers remain committed to providing health benefits, but recognize the need for new approaches that fix those problems.”

The survey includes more than 1,230 employers who currently provide coverage to over 10 million employees and identifies that large employers intend to shift more costs to workers via a “house money / house rules” approach. About 40% of the employers who participated in the survey are shifting more responsibility on their workers by asking them to take a more active role in their health. This includes initiatives aimed at lowering costs and improving employee health by offering health screenings and more robust health care coverage along with lower premiums to those employees who maintain better health.

Another one third of the companies surveyed revealed their plans to move employees to a private health care exchange within three to five years. Employers who move to the private exchange approach plan to provide a subsidy or “credit” to each employee who will then take their “credit” to the exchange to purchase their own health care coverage. Employers will determine the amount they will provide as a subsidy and the amount will vary from employer to employer.

Aon Hewitt has developed it’s own exchange and claims more than 18 large employers with a combined 600,000 workers are already using it.

Winkler goes on to say that “Traditional cost management tactics do not address foundational issues in health care, including worsening population health and misaligned provider payment methodologies.”

This information is a summary of an article titled “Employers Keeping Coverage Despite Obamacare Mandates, Rules” that appeared recently on Forbes.com

 

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