Latest Trends

Radar On Market Access: Health Insurers Turn to Data Analytics to Combat Fraud, Waste and Abuse

August 29, 2019

According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, health insurers lose more than $10 billion each year to health care fraud, waste and abuse. And according to experts, while strides have been made in combatting fraud, there is always going to be some new product ripe for fraud, along with the targets that have been around for years.

According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, health insurers lose more than $10 billion each year to health care fraud, waste and abuse. And according to experts, while strides have been made in combatting fraud, there is always going to be some new product ripe for fraud, along with the targets that have been around for years.

Melissa Jampol, an attorney with Epstein Becker Green and former assistant U.S. attorney, tells AIS Health that “insurers need to stay one step ahead of the trends.” She is a big proponent of data analytics, contending that robust analytics help insurers analyze prepayment claims and audit results, trying to prevent fraud before it happens and catch it after the fact.

Jampol says that opioid use and abuse is still a hot issue. Other targets of health care fraud she sees are telemedicine and durable medical equipment.

Jo-Ellen Abou Nader, vice president of fraud, waste, and abuse and supply chain optimization at Prime Therapeutics LLC, says last year the PBM launched a new data analytics platform to help identify and weed out fraud, waste and abuse.

She adds that “fraud is an evolution.” While health plans are still seeing the same opioid fraud schemes, there are also new schemes trending due to increased access to technology. For example, technology allows fraudulent companies to have more access to patients who don’t have the ability to see a caregiver in person.

Highmark Inc. has also seen a rise in telemedicine schemes involving compounded pain creams. The insurer is combating this type of fraud by identifying large spikes in certain drugs prescribed, says Kurt Spear, vice president of financial investigations and provider review at Highmark. “We can flag those claims, put a stop on them, and do an investigation,” he adds.

Perspectives on CMS’s Drug Pricing Proposals

June 13, 2019

When CMS issued the final rule on Medicare Advantage and Part D drug pricing on May 16, the agency touted its policy changes as ensuring consumers get greater transparency into the cost of Part D prescription drugs and enabling MA plans to negotiate better prices for physician-administered medicines in Part C. Yet, after receiving 4,000-plus comments related to pharmacy price concessions on negotiated price, CMS held back, saying it won’t implement this policy for 2020 — or follow through on proposed exceptions to Part D protected drug classes,

When CMS issued the final rule on Medicare Advantage and Part D drug pricing on May 16, the agency touted its policy changes as ensuring consumers get greater transparency into the cost of Part D prescription drugs and enabling MA plans to negotiate better prices for physician-administered medicines in Part C. Yet, after receiving 4,000-plus comments related to pharmacy price concessions on negotiated price, CMS held back, saying it won’t implement this policy for 2020 — or follow through on proposed exceptions to Part D protected drug classes, AIS Health reported.

Formulary Search Rebrand Enhances the Big Picture, Adds Medical Benefit View

June 13, 2019

MMIT on July 1 will rebrand Formulary Search as Coverage Search, a move that reflects the full portfolio of our capabilities, as well as the complex variances between pharmacy and medical benefit coverage, and the industry’s shift toward increasingly restrictive coverage policies. You will be able to add a comprehensive new package on medical benefit coverage and policies, creating a more complete picture of the entire market access landscape.

MMIT on July 1 will rebrand Formulary Search as Coverage Search, a move that reflects the full portfolio of our capabilities, as well as the complex variances between pharmacy and medical benefit coverage, and the industry’s shift toward increasingly restrictive coverage policies. You will be able to add a comprehensive new package on medical benefit coverage and policies, creating a more complete picture of the entire market access landscape.

Express Scripts Is Launching First Stand-Alone Digital Health Formulary

May 30, 2019

Cigna Corp.’s Express Script PBM expects to introduce the industry’s first stand-alone “digital health formulary” in 2020, the company said May 16. It intends to use a uniform review process to ensure the safety and quality of apps and devices on the market for diabetes, cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions and behavioral health.

Cigna Corp.’s Express Script PBM expects to introduce the industry’s first stand-alone “digital health formulary” in 2020, the company said May 16. It intends to use a uniform review process to ensure the safety and quality of apps and devices on the market for diabetes, cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions and behavioral health.

By creating a digital formulary, Express Scripts “is using old hat methods to manage these new digital health solutions much like they do on brand and generic drugs or other therapies via utilization management,” says Nathan Ray, senior principal in business consulting firm West Monroe Partners’ health care and life sciences practice.

“A formulary allows the administrator to steer demand and control reimbursement for the use of preferred solutions,” Ray says. “Management via formulary has its upsides: It can reduce prices paid by payers and consumers.”

Moreover, digital health might be only the first step as PBMs ask what else they can put through their channel, says Ashraf Shehata, a principal in KPMG’s health care life sciences advisory practice and the firm’s Global Healthcare Center of Excellence.

Dea Belazi, Pharm.D., president and CEO of AscellaHealth, says it makes sense to think of the formulary pharmacy and therapeutics process as a coordinated effort to evaluate the merits of drugs or technologies — or for broader applications.

Yet “at the end of the day, how is this any different than what they’re doing today?” he asks. “Is there going to be an impact in either cost or outcomes in this new digital formulary process? Are numbers going to be different? It would be amazing” if there were improvements.

Radar On Market Access: CMS ‘Meaningfully Walks Back’ on Key Drug Pricing Proposals

May 28, 2019

When CMS issued the final rule on Medicare Advantage and Part D drug pricing on May 16, the agency touted its policy changes as ensuring consumers get greater transparency into the cost of Part D prescription drugs and enabling MA plans to negotiate better prices for physician-administered medicines in Part C. Yet, after receiving 4,000-plus comments related to pharmacy price concessions on negotiated price, CMS held back, saying it won’t implement this policy for 2020 — or follow through on proposed exceptions to Part D protected drug classes,

When CMS issued the final rule on Medicare Advantage and Part D drug pricing on May 16, the agency touted its policy changes as ensuring consumers get greater transparency into the cost of Part D prescription drugs and enabling MA plans to negotiate better prices for physician-administered medicines in Part C. Yet, after receiving 4,000-plus comments related to pharmacy price concessions on negotiated price, CMS held back, saying it won’t implement this policy for 2020 — or follow through on proposed exceptions to Part D protected drug classes, AIS Health reported.

Radar On Market Access: CMS Extends Options to States to Test Innovative Dual-Eligible Care Models

May 9, 2019

Although independent evaluations of ongoing demonstrations to integrate care for dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries are still underway, an April 24 letter from CMS Administrator Seema Verma signaled the agency’s commitment to proving the value of the models as well as testing alternatives, AIS Health reported.

Although independent evaluations of ongoing demonstrations to integrate care for dual-eligible Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries are still underway, an April 24 letter from CMS Administrator Seema Verma signaled the agency’s commitment to proving the value of the models as well as testing alternatives, AIS Health reported.