Are healthcare costs robbing us of The American Dream?
Historically, benefits have been a way to incentivize and keep employees. But with costs, especially around pharmacological interventions continuing to rise, healthcare costs are not only monopolizing expenses for employers, they are reducing the amount of money employees have to spend on food, travel, and education, among other things.
Sourcing and opportunities for disruption
One way companies are keeping costs down is by sourcing prescriptions from other countries that can provide name brand medications with a certificate of authenticity, but at a fraction of the cost.
Medical tourism, or travel outside one’s country to obtain prescription medication or medical care isn’t just a thing now, it’s an industry. And a growing one at that. The savings- up to $0.70- $0.90 on the dollar for name brand medication is sizeable, especially when purchased in 90 day supply. It alone has caused this practice to gain both traction and acceptance.
Finally, working with Fiduciary Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) can save companies money. Fiduciary PBMs are contractually required to act in the best interest of their clients, which means the elimination of things like hidden cash flows and spread pricing. Spread pricing is the difference in the actual cost of medication and the cost for which it is purchased. Historically, that difference has ended up in the pockets of PBMs. Not so with Fiduciary PBMs, translating to lower costs and more money in the pockets of employers and employees alike.
We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know
Up until now, we as consumers of healthcare have largely viewed healthcare as simply an essential commodity. We have watched costs rise somewhat helplessly, not necessarily knowing how or even to negotiate change. Such costs may have even caused us to make unhealthy decisions around medication adherence or worse, whether or not to seek medical care at all.
The onset of industries like medical tourism and growing disruption by companies like ScriptSourcing- a company that helps self-funded employers mitigate healthcare costs- are not only helping employers cut healthcare costs, they are growing consumer awareness about what can and should be negotiated.
Disruption lies not just in knowing a solution exists, but in knowing enough to demand one be created.
Activity or Outcome Based?
As an employer, it is one thing to put programs in place to improve the health and well-being of our employees and another to ensure those programs are actually improving health and well-being. Why wouldn’t we demand the latter of those negotiating healthcare services for our employees as well?
ScriptSourcing’s CEO, Gary Becker, described their performance based compensation model in a recent interview. According to Gary, ScriptSourcing’s brokers put their own compensation at risk to guarantee savings around healthcare spend for their clients. Their willingness to manage the healthcare supply chain for employers and negotiate costs that may not have been previously negotiated, especially around the cost of prescriptions is their value proposition as a company.
The narrative around healthcare is changing rapidly thanks to those willing to demand results and negotiate change and those unwilling to relinquish the American Dream.
This blog post is based off a podcast interview with Gary Becker, CEO of ScriptSourcing. To learn more about ScriptSourcing or to be in touch with Gary, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on LinkedIn. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to Healthcare Simplified.