During the Healthy Outcomes conference in June, participants discussed ways to better understand the impact of drug plan offerings on employee health.

Four groups of conference participants — moderated by Joe Farago, executive director of health-care innovation at Innovative Medicines Canada; Kirsten Garces, senior manager for value and access at Amgen Canada Inc.; Carmen Hogan, vice-president of sales and service at Green Shield Canada; and Kathy Sotirakos, senior manager of market access private insurance at Amgen — responded to two questions:

1. Do you monitor your drug claims data?

2. Can you connect drug treatment with employee health?

Read: Pitney Bowes focuses on prevention in benefits redesign

Some of the key points raised by the groups included:

  • Most plan sponsors receive drug utilization data annually or on renewal and use it to develop wellness programs and a wide range of activities. However, the data tends to be a dump of information. While external advisors or vendors help them understand the information, participants would prefer a dedicated person to analyze the data.
  • The reasons for monitoring drug data include forecasting future benefits costs; comparing costs and health trends; deciding on the most meaningful health and wellness programs for employees; due diligence; education; and communication.
  • While it’s important to aggregate data for privacy reasons, it would be useful to have information split between employees and dependants when looking at disability rates and employee outcomes.
  • Participants said it’s hard to link short- and long-term disability claims to specific diseases and then judge the drug spend. Are there any tools carriers can develop to help with that?
  • Other data, such as information on employees using multiple drugs and adherence statistics, would help create strategies to manage costs.

Read more coverage from the 2017 Healthy Outcomes conference

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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