Rx Costs on Rise for Employer Medical Plans

Employer-sponsored medical plans are expected to see an unparalleled increase globally in 2017 despite lowering inflation rates according to a new Aon report.  While inflation rates dip slightly from 2.9 to 2.8 in 2017, medical plans are projected to increase from 8.1 to 8.2 in following months.

“Many of the factors driving the upward momentum for higher medical costs are ones that individuals can change when appropriate support and programs are available,” note Tim Nimmer, Chief Health Care Actuary at Aon. “Employers can play a key role in motivating individuals and their families to take a more active role in managing their health, including participating in health and wellness activities and better managing chronic conditions that frequently drive higher costs for treatments.”

Some of the primary drivers for the increased cost for medical plans include poor health habits of cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease patients globally. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and lack of physical activity were identified in the AON report as future drivers of increase medical costs.

While the report states managing provider networks, cost sharing and plan design changes are top strategies for alleviating medical costs, PharmMD’s Medication Risk Management (MRM) program targets the costly pharmacy component of medical plans.

PharmMD’s MRM solutions aim at the health risks and rewards of prescription medication by improving adherence, identifying drug therapy problems such as potential drug interactions and resolving gaps in care which lead to lower medical costs overall.

A key component of PharmMD’s MRM solution is the unique ability to provide a transparent and quantifiable ROI for each drug therapy problem resolved combined with their unique performance-based pricing model.

With medication costs rising, focusing efforts to control or reduce prescription medication issues within an employer plan should be considered the top strategy for 2017.

About PharmMD: For Health Plans or risk-bearing entities that want to improve member and employee health measurably, PharmMD is the proven choice for pharmacy quality solutions. Founded by healthcare and pharmacy innovators, PharmMD’s outcomes-driven reporting, priority on personal touch, and scalable network are backed by performance-based pricing that guarantees fast results.  Areas of expertise include:  HEDIS, Part D Stars, Medication Therapy Management, Medication Risk Management.

David Quandt
VP, Business Development