Posted in Access to healthcare, Doctor-Patient Relationship, Healthcare financing, Medical Practice Models, Organizational structure, outcomes measurement, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Protocols, Uncategorized

How Chaos at Chain Pharmacies Is Putting Patients at Risk | New York Times

They struggle to fill prescriptions, give flu shots, tend the drive-through, answer phones, work the register, counsel patients and call doctors and insurance companies, they said — all the while racing to meet corporate performance metrics that they characterized as unreasonable and unsafe in an industry squeezed to do more with less.

“I am a danger to the public working for CVS,” one pharmacist wrote in an anonymous letter to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy in April.

“The amount of busywork we must do while verifying prescriptions is absolutely dangerous,” another wrote to the Pennsylvania board in February. “Mistakes are going to be made and the patients are going to be the ones suffering.”

Posted in Access to healthcare, advance-pricing, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Direct-Pay Medicine, Direct-Pay Practice Models, Economic Issues, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Medical Costs, Medical Practice Models, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Choice, Patient Compliance, Patient-centered Care, Price Tansparency, Third-Party Free Practices, Uncategorized, Uninsured

Kroger and GoodRx Launch the Kroger Rx Savings Club to Redefine the Customer Experience

The market is rising up in response to the price-distortions of the medical-industrial complex. The Kroger-GoodRx partnership is a huge end-run around the price-skimming cabal of PBMs and their Health Plan co-conspirators.  – Robert Nelson, FfHCF

“More than 200 million prescriptions are left at pharmacy counters every year because people cannot afford to purchase them. The Kroger Rx Savings Club combines the power of Kroger’s nationwide network with GoodRx’s pricing technology to create a customer-first program that addresses the high cost of prescription drugs.”

Your Kroger Rx Savings Club membership includes:

  • Over 100 value priced generic medications specially priced at:
    • $3 (30-day) and $6 (90-day)
    • $6 (30-day) and $12 (90-day)
  • Select FREE medications
  • Exclusive Club prices on thousands of brand-name and generic medications
  • Coverage for up to 6 members (with a Family Membership)

Source: Kroger and GoodRx Launch the Kroger Rx Savings Club to Redefine the Customer Experience

Posted in Crony Capitalism, Economic Issues, Employee Benefits, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Healthcare financing, Medical Costs, News From Washington, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Quality, Uncategorized

No Free Lunch…Except in Pharma – PBGH

Great article by Pittsburgh Business Group on Health that explains the PBM rebate scam.

“The Problem…

Above board discounts and rebates would not cause problems. Let’s say your friend had a coupon for $10 off when you bought two entrees. The price of the lunch would go from $40 to $30, and you would each pay $15. With the undisclosed rebate, however, you don’t get the benefit of the discount or rebate. All of the benefit goes to your friend (Your friend pays $10, you pay $20).”

https://pbghpa.org/blog/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch-unless-youre-in-pharmaceuticals/

Posted in Access to healthcare, Economic Issues, Healthcare financing, Medical Costs, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Choice, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, Reforming Medicare, third-party payments, Uncategorized

Why a patient paid a $285 copay for a $40 drug | PBS NewsHour

Insurance copays are higher than the cost of the drug about 25 percent of the time, according to a study published in March by the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/why-a-patient-paid-a-285-copay-for-a-40-drug

Posted in Access to healthcare, Economic Issues, Health Insurance, Influence peddling, Medical Costs, out-of-pocket costs, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Patient-centered Care, Price Tansparency, Quality, Uncategorized

Sworn to Secrecy, Drugstores Stay Silent as Customers Overpay – Bloomberg

You’re Overpaying for Drugs and Your Pharmacist Can’t Tell You

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-24/sworn-to-secrecy-drugstores-stay-silent-as-customers-overpay

Posted in Access to healthcare, Economic Issues, Essential Benefits under the ACA, Free-Market, Health Insurance, Medical Costs, Patient Choice, Policy Issues

Over-the-Counter Contraceptives Better than a Mandate | Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org

OTCBC-300x248OTC birth control pills is an idea that’s been around for a while. Planned Parenthood is on record as supporting the idea. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has also backed the idea in the past. Oddly, men tend to favor the idea more than women. A majority of men support the proposal (both Democrats and Republicans), but only a minority of women do. [See Figure]  However, when the politics are removed from the issue most people view it favorably. Indeed, a poll by Reason found seven-in-ten of those surveyed believed it should be legal to purchase birth control pills and patches without a prescription.

Yet, when S. 1438 was announced,  Senator Ayotte and her cosponsors were attacked.  Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards issued a press release saying, “This bill is a sham and an insult to women.”  An idea that many would ordinarily agree with is being opposed on political grounds — merely because insurers would not be legally required to pay for contraceptives purchased over the counter.  The ACOG also opposes the bill — because it erroneously believes OTC birth control would be unaffordable without insurers paying for it.

via Over-the-Counter Contraceptives Better than a Mandate | Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.