Takeaways from 2018 JP Morgan Healthcare Conference

Michael Medel, Pharm D, MBA
January 24, 2018

Becker’s Healthcare recently released an article featuring takeaways from the 2018 JP Morgan Chase Healthcare Conference. While many valuable nuggets of industry knowledge were shared during the conference, some of the most notable sound bites came from executives representing various healthcare systems who provided an outlook of the industry and strategic tools that could better position employers to prosper in the ever-changing U.S. healthcare industry. As I read through Becker’s takeaways, I could not help from thinking, “PSG solves these challenges for health systems every day.”


Becker’s Takeaway #3: You Must Measure and Manage Cost and Margins

Maximize drug purchasing. In the era of rapidly escalating healthcare costs, managing drug spend must be a critical focus for hospital executives. What is at times unknown is there is tremendous opportunity to maximize 340B savings through compliantly increasing prescription volume. Our market-leading 340B technologies provide clients the ability to compliantly maximize 340B savings throughout the operation of their prescription drug plans.

What’s more, our creative PBM, clinical and supply chain solutions are directly addressing rising drug costs in health systems for both patients and employee benefits. Health systems can no longer afford to silo drug management. Through cost-containment practices such as leveraging existing clinical assets through integration of pharmacy and human resources, PSG is empowering health systems to better manage drug spend.

Improve formulary and clinical management. With the high costs of specialty drugs, a formulary development process that yields lower drug plan net costs should be the driving force behind any employer’s cost-management program. To achieve this goal, more employers are customizing their formularies to ensure lowest net cost, not just maximizing rebates. When it comes to creating formularies, hospitals have a particular advantage, as they typically have clinical experts on staff to make these decisions for patients which can be tapped to inform benefits programs.

Use hospital-owned pharmacies for employees. Health systems have a considerable advantage in that they own their own pharmacies.  With this arrangement, they have access to optimal financial advantages. What’s more, from a clinical perspective hospitals are caring for a patient from beginning of therapy to the end. In other words, from the hospital bed to the home. Therefore they can also provide more comprehensive care for patients suffering from chronic and rare conditions which are typically treated with specialty drugs. As you consider the complexities of caring for patients on specialty drugs, the robust medical record information available to the pharmacist can lead to improved clinical outcomes for the patient.


Becker’s Takeaway #8: You Must Leverage Analytics

Leverage analytics to drive outcomes and improve efficiency. Long gone are the days of relying solely on the PBM and health plan vendors; specialty drugs now cross over both benefits, requiring an integrated approach. Add in the continual demand for high-cost, specialty drugs along with a renewed interest in 340B, and what you have are some of driving forces behind why you should leverage data and analytics to yield stronger plan outcomes. With specialty drugs that cost as much as $750,000 annually per patient, it’s essential to utilize data analytics to understand the member population of your plan and proactively prepare for the specialty drug boom. Integrating a comprehensive analytics model like the Artemetrx Specialty Monitor to track and monitor drug spend and utilization. Built upon an integrated data set of pharmacy and medical claims, our specialty drug platform can put your health system on track to heighten your drug plan optimization (e.g., reduced drug costs, evidence-based utilization management, site of care programs, etc.).

The healthcare industry road is mired in uncertainty, and the roadmap can be misleading. That doesn’t mean the journey has to be filled with apprehension and missteps. PSG prepares you for the journey ahead. Contact us to secure the right healthcare roadmap to enable you to reach your destination.


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Leveraging Your Hospital’s Pharmacy and Clinical Assets to Offset Rising Pharmacy Benefit Costs.


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Mike’s background includes helping health systems leverage their pharmacy programs to drive revenue, produce employee plan savings, and improve risk arrangements with payers.