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Walgreens: Value-based insurance design programs can be optimized by targeting least adherent

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday presented research on how value-based insurance design programs can be optimized by targeting the sickest, least adherent and most costly patients. These findings, presented at the 2014 PBMI Drug Benefit Conference in Las Vegas, examined how the VBID model can be most successful by reaching these targeted employee sub-populations.

VBID programs are emerging as a new benefit design focused on aligning patients’ out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments and deductibles, with the value of health services. The model reduces barriers to such high-value services as preventive and chronic care therapies through lower costs to patients, while discouraging unproven, misused or low-benefit care through higher costs, ultimately improving health outcomes. Studies have shown that co-payment reductions often are associated with improvements in medication adherence.

“As employers continue to look for innovative ways to manage healthcare costs while keeping employees healthy, VBID programs have emerged as a viable and effective solution,” said Bobby Clark, Walgreens director of clinical outcomes and reporting. “However, we have only just begun to look at whether these VBID programs are reaching the employees who can benefit the most from the programs. Our recent research provides new insight into how to successfully reach these sickest and most costly patients. We hope to see future studies further investigate how opt-in VBID programs can become more targeted and what the full cost, adherence and outcomes benefits will be when these programs are fully optimized.”

The Walgreens study examined an employer-based VBID program implemented in January 2010, which eliminated the co-pay for generic anti-diabetic and anti-hyperlipidemic (cholesterol) medications. Eligible members (diabetic and/or high-cholesterol beneficiaries) were required to participate in a case management or wellness program to receive the zero co-pay benefit. 

In a related study by Clark and colleagues published in the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, medication adherence and the costs for generic diabetes and cholesterol medications resulting from participation in a zero co-pay VBID program were examined. The zero co-pay program used a reduction in cost sharing to incentivize members to use more generic drugs and to enroll in a care management coaching program. That study also demonstrated that a value-based program can have a positive impact on adherence and cost outcomes among those who participate.

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Eco Depot to distribute portable water purifier

BY Ryan Chavis

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Eco Depot announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Water Technology Development to distribute a new portable water purification device called the WaterGizzi. Eco Depot plans to market the product as part of its eco-friendly product line, which also includes the Click and Pour and the recently acquired WaterGeeks filtration brand.

WaterGizzi weighs only a few ounces and fits into the palm of your hand, the company said. It has the ability to function as an in-line filter for sports water bottles or hydration bladders, or can be used on its own to drink from any freshwater source. It requires no pumping or mechanical power to effectively remove chlorine, heavy metals, bi-products, bacteria and other potentially harmful contaminants.

HotTVBrands.com is set to produce a DRTV ad campaign featuring the product in foreign travel, outdoor recreation and emergency preparation in addition to daily replacement for additional bottled water.

Eco Depot was formerly an "eco-lighting" distributor but is in the development stage of transitioning into a manufacturer and distributor of eco-friendly consumer products.

 

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Fruth Pharmacy, Green Township Fire Department develop ‘Life Vial’ program

BY Antoinette Alexander

WAVERLY, Ohio — Fruth Pharmacy has partnered with Green Township Fire Department to launch the “Life Vial” program, which provides a specially designed plastic vial that contains life-saving medical information.

The EMTs and firefighters came up with the idea of a Life Vial during one of their many emergency runs, as family members often were unsure of the medications their loved ones were taking.

Fruth Pharmacy began working with Green Township to develop a way for patients to have their medical information ready in case of an emergency. Enter Life Vial.

During an emergency run, Green Township Fire Department and EMTs will provide families with a Life Vial. In case of a similar emergency in the future, a family can be better prepared to help their loved one by having pertinent medical information available.

Upon receiving a Life Vial, a person needs to complete the paperwork inside the vial. There also is an option to connect your Life Vial information to an online medical account. The Life Vial should then be placed in a conspicuous place in the refrigerator. The Life Vial comes with two stickers. You can place these stickers in a window on your door or near your door. If you need life-saving emergency care, Green Township Firefighters and EMTs are trained to look for these stickers and for the Life Vial.

Fruth Pharmacy operates of 27 locations in Ohio and West Virginia.

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