Thursday, November 07, 2013

Open Season anticipation

OPM's 2014 Open Season website is operational and OPM's Federal Benefits Facebook page and Twitter account are again operational. Open Season is only a few days away. Can the FEHBlog control his excitement?

CVS Caremark, the major phamacy chain / prescription benefits manager,  issued a positive third quarter earning report on Tuesday according to the AP. This nugget is of interest given OPM's push for generic drug utilization:
CVS Caremark said more than 81 percent of the prescriptions it dispenses from its retail pharmacies are now generics. That's up from nearly 80 percent in last year's quarter.
In contrast, the company's retail pharmacies had a 73 percent generic dispensing rate in the third quarter of 2010, a year before top-selling drugs like the cholesterol fighter Lipitor lost U.S. patent protection. 
OPM also has been pushing plans to give plan members ready access to their claim records through Blue Button. That's all well and good but the mother lode of information is the doctor's records, and Government Health IT reports about successful initiatives to make primary care doctors' notes available to patients electronically.

Finally Employee Benefit News discusses how mobile devices can supplement traditional case management programs.
If people with chronic conditions only spend about an hour a year with their physician, how can they stay adherent with medication and their disease education for the 8,759 hours they’re outside the doctor’s office? The most promising answer is through mobile devices.
Health plan providers and plan sponsors can use mobile devices to monitor and engage participants with notifications, such as medication reminders, when it is most convenient for them. Backsliders know where they are failing through self-monitoring in real time and coaches monitoring their results can intervene when necessary.

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