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CVS Caremark wins kudos for Pharmacy Advisor
February 18th, 2011
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. and one of its pharmacy services clients has received the 2011 Rx Benefit Innovation Award from the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI).
CVS said Friday that the award, which also went to its PBM customer ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, recognizes the Pharmacy Advisor program, which CVS Caremark developed to manage costs, improve medication adherence and close gaps in care for members with diabetes.
The Pharmacy Advisor program was piloted from late 2009 to early 2010 with ArcelorMittal in the United States, where it has about 80,000 covered lives, according to CVS Caremark. At the start of the initiative, the ArcelorMittal's member population had a diabetes prevalence rate of 13.7%. Also, 48% of members with diabetes had at least one gap in therapy, and a third were nonadherent to prescribed medications.
By the end of the six-month pilot, the program demonstrated that a significantly higher number of gaps in care were closed compared to a control group of members who were not counseled: 59% higher for phone-based counseling and 91% higher for face-to-face counseling, CVS Caremark said.
"This honor illustrates how an employer and its PBM can work together to improve health care quality while better managing cost," stated Per Lofberg, president of CVS Caremark's PBM business. "For CVS Caremark, this award validates our efforts to develop innovative programs that improve patient engagement, better manage chronic diseases like diabetes and help clients keep their health care costs down."
With Pharmacy Advisor, rules engine technology is applied to PBM claims data to identify plan members with diabetes who have suboptimal pharmacy care, as well as those who may be at risk of becoming suboptimal, CVS Caremark explained. Evidence-based protocols are also applied to review a member's current treatment and identify gaps in care or issues with medication adherence. Pharmacists then discuss clinical improvement opportunities for members based on their preferred means of communication, on the phone with a pharmacist or face-to-face at a CVS/pharmacy store.
"Health and safety is the top priority at ArcelorMittal. Therefore, we are committed to finding ways to help our employees and their families lead healthier lives, and this program has helped us meet that goal by delivering improved outcomes for our employees and their insured family members with diabetes," Mary Hendrickson, manager of employee benefits at ArcelorMittal, said in a statement. "The program engaged participants by providing them with access to information through personalized counseling with a trained pharmacist either on the phone or face-to-face."
ArcelorMittal's productive results with Pharmacy Advisor has convinced other companies in the Employers Health Purchasing Corporation of Ohio (EHPCO) to adopt the program, CVS Caremark reported.
"The Pharmacy Advisor program achieved positive results for one of our coalition members by dramatically improving pharmacy care for its members with diabetes," stated Christopher Goff, chief executive officer and general counsel for EHPCO. "Based on the positive experience of this employer and its members during the pilot program, the majority of EHPCO coalition members have decided to adopt the Pharmacy Advisor program for 2011 and are looking forward to improved member engagement, increased adherence and reduced overall health care costs."
PBMI announced the four winners of the 2011 Rx Benefit Innovation Awards on Thursday at its 16th Annual Drug Benefit Conference in Phoenix. Besides CVS Caremark and ArcelorMittal, the other award recipients were the Center for Health Value Innovation, Cigna Pharmacy Management and InformedRx.
"Our 2011 award recipients have demonstrated creative thinking by designing solutions to address numerous challenges in prescription drug programs," commented Tim Watson, executive director of PBMI. "Their example will inspire other plan sponsors to implement one or more of these approaches in their own populations."