Philadelphia — Independence Blue Cross (Independence) recently launched a new digital tool called PreCheck MyScript that allows providers in its network to easily determine the most affordable medication options for patients. The new tool — powered by FutureScripts, an OptumRx company — delivers greater transparency and healthcare connectivity by giving care providers real-time visibility into patients’ pharmacy benefits while helping to lower prescription drug costs.
PreCheck MyScript seamlessly integrates directly in the electronic medical record (EMR) systems of providers in the Independence network, and provides a real-time, member-specific view of how much a member would have to pay for a medication based on their specific health plan. The tool also offers easily accessible information on lower-cost alternatives when available for higher-cost medications, as well as prior authorization information. If prior authorization is required, providers can request approval immediately through the tool — saving their offices time and effort they may have spent faxing or calling to get approvals.
According to Richard L. Snyder, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at Independence, members and providers do not always understand the different coverage options and associated cost-sharing/copays for prescription drugs. Because of this, members often abandon their medications after leaving the provider’s office due to not being able to afford the cost or because of delays in getting prescriptions processed.
“And the unfortunate results of members not taking or filling prescriptions can be poor health outcomes and higher healthcare costs. This is a public health problem, and it’s something we are working to address through the introduction of PreCheck MyScript,” Snyder said. “We want our members and their providers to feel confident in the healthcare decisions they make and knowing that the right medications are being prescribed at the most affordable cost and without any delays is an important part of ensuring that confidence.”
The initial response to PreCheck MyScript by providers has been strong. Independence began offering PreCheck MyScript to providers on August 1, 2018, and since that time Independence has seen an increase in the use of lower cost alternative medications and prior authorizations initiated electronically or avoided altogether.
“Providers have sufficient information regarding a medication’s clinical efficacy and safety, but they tell us that they often don’t have time to gain insight into member-specific drug benefit limitations, member out-of-pocket costs, lower cost alternatives, and other factors affecting a member’s drug utilization and adherence,” Eric M. Estes R.Ph, senior director pharmacy services at Independence said.
FutureScripts is Independence’s pharmacy benefits manager.