The cost of prescription drugs is an important part of rising health care costs. One way that employers are helping employees save on prescription costs is by encouraging the use of a home-delivery pharmacy when this option is part of the company’s prescription-drug benefit.
Using a Home-Delivery Pharmacy Can Reduce Costs
Home-delivery pharmacies can reduce prescription costs and improve convenience. A study prepared by Visante and commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) found that using home-delivery pharmacies can save an estimated $5.1 billion for consumers, employers and other payers in 2015. Home-delivery pharmacies typically provide up to 90 days worth of supplies of maintenance medications for chronic, long-term conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Employees generally see lower co-pay and co-insurance amounts when they use a home-delivery pharmacy compared to what they pay at the local retail drug store.
The dispensing model for home-delivery pharmacies is also much more efficient. Using computer-controlled quality processes and robotic dispensing, home-delivery pharmacies can process and fill an extremely large number of prescriptions quickly and accurately. According to the PCMA study, almost one in every 50 prescriptions filled at a local retail pharmacy includes an error. The home-delivery pharmacy accuracy rate is 99.999 percent.
Home-delivery pharmacies also have an advantage when it comes to helping customers stay on their medications as prescribed. A study published in The American Journal of Managed Care in 2013 found that customers with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes who used a home-delivery pharmacy were 11 to 19 percent more likely to take their medications as prescribed compared to people using a retail pharmacy. Nonadherence is the most costly source of pharmacy-related waste, costing $317.4 billion last year in avoidable medical costs, according to Express Scripts.
Getting Your Employees on Board With the Change
To encourage your employees to use a home-delivery pharmacy program, you should communicate with them on a regular basis. Provide platforms, such as briefings and small group discussions, where employees can clarify doubts and voice concerns about the program. Equip your employees with accurate information by distributing brochures that clearly explain the program and by answering any questions that they might have.
Check with your company’s health insurance provider or pharmacy benefit manager for sample communication that you can use in the form of a newsletter or email. By empowering employees with the right information and tools, you are enabling them to reduce health care costs and cope with the change and transition smoothly.
Emmie Sahlan has a graduate degree in English and has been writing professionally for the past five years. Her niche areas are insurance, credit cards, personal finance and education.