Larson C, Vogenberg FR. Guiding Employer Management of Specialty Drugs. Am Health Drug Benefits. 2015;8(5):256-257.
With the 2015 extension of time offered to employers for Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, many employers are back to focusing their attention on cost management efforts. For the fourth straight year, managing specialty pharmacy has been noted as one of the top benefit management priorities by employers in a 2014 Annual Employer Member Survey conducted by the Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH), a leading nonprofit business coalition of human resources and health benefits professionals, with the Institute for Integrated Healthcare (IIH), a leading education and benefits strategy consulting firm working with coalitions or member employers. MBGH’s membership consists of approximately 120 large (>3000 employees), self-insured, public and private employers and other key healthcare stakeholders who together represent more than 4 million lives and spend more than $4 billion on health benefits annually.
Based on the MBGH-IIH survey (presented in April 2015 at the MBGH annual meeting and at other national meetings, and posted at www.mbgh.org or www.specialtyrxtoolkit.com), many employers indicate that managing specialty pharmacy remains a high or a medium-high priority for the next 12 to 24 months.
In the past, employers have been able to effectively manage drug cost trends using various benefit coverage approaches. With the increasing number of biologic and specialty pharmacy medications being developed for various serious and chronic conditions, many employers are concerned about their ability to offer medical and/or pharmacy benefits to their employees in the future.
In today’s ACA environment, with competing priorities and the growing trend of high-deductible health plans, some employers are forced to implement cost-shifting strategies that can have a significant impact on employees and their family members; this comes at a time when budgets are already strained. For employers, the goal of maintaining a healthy, satisfied, and productive workforce is a top priority.
Read the full article here https://www.ahdbonline.com/issues/2015/august-2015-vol-8-no-5/1983-guiding-employer-management-of-specialty-drugs-august-2015