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Highmark Study Shows Integrated Medical and Pharmacy Benefits Lower Costs, Promote Better Health
Date:6/2/2010

PITTSBURGH, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when employers are seeking innovative ways to control medical benefits expenses, a study from Highmark Inc. has revealed that the integration of medical and pharmacy benefits lowers overall medical costs, while promoting better health.

In an effort to save on health benefits costs, some employers choose a "carve-out" model by contracting with a pharmacy benefits manager to provide its prescription drug benefit. Highmark's study, which was published in Benefits & Compensation Digest, shows that an integrated medical and prescription drug benefit, however, has the potential to provide greater savings to group customers.

Highmark analyzed clients that carve out pharmacy benefits for their employees and compared them to Highmark's customers who have an integrated medical and prescription drug benefit.

"The findings showed that during the four-year period of the analysis, annual medical expenses for our group customers averaged 6.2 percent lower for customers who carve in the pharmacy prescription drug benefit versus those who do not," said Dr. Eric Culley, manager of clinical pharmacy services at Highmark. "Therefore, for a group of 1,000 employees, that equates to an approximate $549,260 in medical cost avoidance during a four-year period. For the same timeframe, customers with an integrated medical and prescription drug benefit experienced an annual average of 15.8 percent less in outpatient expenses and 7.7 percent less in emergency room expenses for their employees."

"The study provides evidence that validates that the integration of Highmark's medical and pharmacy benefits promotes better health and lowers overall medical costs," said Dr. '/>"/>

SOURCE Highmark Inc.
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