Price, access, and service levels were key reasons, says union president
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- FutureScripts senior vice president Paul N. Urick, R.Ph., announced today that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776 and its Participating Employers Health and Welfare Fund have agreed to and implemented a three-year agreement to offer its members pharmacy coverage through FutureScripts. UFCW Local 1776's new contract with FutureScripts provides pharmacy benefits to more than 17,000 union members and their families in southeastern Pennsylvania.
"We are extremely pleased that UFCW Local 1776 and the Fund has chosen to offer its members and their families FutureScripts pharmacy coverage, and we look forward to helping the union build upon its reputation as a high-quality provider of health benefits," said Urick, who leads operations for FutureScripts.
Wendell W. Young, IV, president of Local 1776 and chairman of the Fund, said the rising cost of health care has become one of the most difficult challenges for unions to manage. "FutureScripts gave us the right solution for our needs, including the access our members are accustomed to, the service they demand, the reporting capabilities we need, and a very competitive price that helps us manage our health care costs across the board," Young said. "We conducted an exhaustive search -- quite a comprehensive proposal process of national pharmacy benefit managers -- and in the end it was clear FutureScripts had everything we needed right here in our own backyard," he added.
Partnership model provides value-added resources for employer groups
FutureScripts also serves as the independent pharmacy benefit manager for Independence Blue Cross. Together they approach customers through a partnership model. For example, when large employer groups such as Local 1776 purchase their medical benefits from IBC and their pharmacy coverage from FutureScripts, they are benefitting from value-added resources that help manage every health care dollar they spend. These resources include enhancements for Local 1776, such as superior reporting capabilities that give union leaders a better picture of their group's utilization of particular drug classes and tie in that information with the group's aggregate medical data, population health improvement needs, and efforts to promote wellness.
Rosemary Park, senior vice president of business development at Independence Blue Cross, has worked with Local 1776 on its medical benefits since the 1970's. "Using IBC's integrated approach with FutureScripts, we can now help customers such as UFCW manage costs and medical and pharmacy information better than ever before," she said. "For example, IBC's data systems are designed to share and transfer information about disease management, medical claims, lab results and specialist provider visits with FutureScripts' pharmacy usage data systems so that we can help identify areas of concern and identify members who would benefit from outreach, provide condition-specific information, or offer wellness education." Park added that this is a new capability and a key benefit to large groups such as UFCW.
"As the costs of all pharmaceuticals increase, it is becoming increasingly important for group customers to get a better handle on how their health care dollar is being spent," Urick said, "and to develop strategies for how to effectively manage these costs. This is a key area where FutureScripts is able to show true value to these customers."
Young added, "We want our members to have the best coverage for the best price so that they can afford to have a decent standard of living, take care of their families and not worry about whether their test or their drug is going to be covered or if they can afford it."
Under terms of the agreement, FutureScripts will manage a comprehensive suite of services for UFCW Local 1776, including a retail pharmacy network, claims processing, and formulary management. FutureScripts and UFCW also are collaborating on the development of innovative clinical programs that will improve the quality of health care for UFCW plan participants.
Urick explained that UFCW members who will be covered by the FutureScripts drug plan have received communications about how their new coverage will work and that they will have access to essentially the same network of pharmacy stores that they have had in the past. He notes that these members can expect a seamless transition and the highest levels of service from the new arrangement with FutureScripts.
FutureScripts(R), an independent pharmacy benefits management company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, helps employers and health plans manage rising prescription drug costs without sacrificing quality coverage. FutureScripts has built a comprehensive national pharmacy network of more than 60,000 retail pharmacies, including independent pharmacies as well as all of the major pharmacy retail chains. For more information, call FutureScripts corporate headquarters at 1-888-678-7012 or go to http://www.FutureScripts.com.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 represents 24,000 members throughout southeast, northeast, and central Pennsylvania; northeast Maryland; and southern New York who work in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, government services, manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, professional offices, and Pennsylvania's Wine and Spirits Shops. In addition to negotiating wages and working conditions, the union negotiates benefits such as medical care, tuition reimbursements, and childcare. For more information, go to http://www.ufcw1776.org.
Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is a leading health insurer in Southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For 70 years, IBC has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. IBC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. For more information, go to http://www.ibx.com.
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