Printer Friendly

EMPLOYERS TARGET PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFITS FOR BETTER COST CONTROL; RAPID INCREASE IN SEPARATE CARD, MAIL ORDER PLANS REPORTED

 NEW YORK, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Soaring prescription drug benefit costs are prompting more employers to implement separate card or mail order programs to better manage drug costs.
 A nationwide survey conducted by Foster Higgins, the international benefits consulting firm, reports the cost of prescription drug benefits surged 37.5 percent in two years, from $251 per employee in 1990 to $345 in 1992. The survey was based on 2,315 employers who offer prescription drug benefits.
 "Prescription drug coverage is no longer inexpensive," said Patricia Wilson, a principal in Foster Higgins Philadelphia office. "With benefit costs far outracing the overall rate of inflation, it's no wonder employers are looking for ways to better manage drug costs."
 According to the survey, a growing number of employers are trying to control costs by carving prescription drug coverage out of their major medical plan and implementing separate card or mail order plans.
 About one-third (32 percent) of employers offered card programs to employees in 1992, up from 24 percent in 1990. Mail order programs also increased sharply -- from 20 percent in 1990 to 30 percent last year. More than half (54 percent) of respondents still provide coverage for prescription drugs only through their major medical plan or HMO.
 "Adding card or mail order programs can lower employer costs, increase utilization data and improve quality of care," Wilson commented. "However, not all programs can follow through on their marketing hype, particularly their clinical capabilities. Switching to a separate program requires careful planning and analysis, with particular attention to plan design."
 Some employers learned this the hard way, observed Wilson. About half (51 percent) of employers who implemented a separate card plan reported that their costs increased while just 28 percent said costs decreased.
 Employers who implemented a mail order program experienced significantly better cost results. Only 16 percent reported their costs increased when they introduced a mail order program while 60 percent said costs decreased.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/31/93
 /CONTACT: Ed Emerman of Foster Higgins, 609-520-2766/


CO: Foster Higgins ST: IN: SU:

MJ-MK -- PHFNS1 -- 1314 03/31/93 07:32 EST
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1993
Words:348
Previous Article:FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK OF PITTSBURGH PROVIDES FUNDING TO SUPPORT $24.7 MILLION OF LOW-COST HOUSING IN DISTRICT
Next Article:TRIMBLE NAVIGATION ANNOUNCES JAPANESE SUBSIDIARY APPOINTS DR. JOSE BRICENO AS MANAGING DIRECTOR
Topics:


Related Articles
How employers handle prescription drug costs.
Employer-sponsored prescription drug benefits.
DIVERSIFIED ACQUIRES PRESCRIPTION DELIVERY SYSTEMS, A MAIL ORDER PRESCRIPTION PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY
Strong medicine for drug costs.
Taking charge of prescription drug costs.
Medicare changes: rejoice at more competition: Medicare legislation signed into law will help seniors get more affordable prescription drugs and...
Trends in employer-provided prescription-drug coverage: prescription-drug costs have been rising faster than the rate of inflation; although coverage...
Healthcare: schemes tackle rise in prescription costs.
Healthcare Company Offering Free Prescription Card to Individuals, Businesses and Corporations.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters