Free Market Minute: Solution Fatigue
Solution Fatigue; this is how a colleague recently described the current state of mind of employers. This description is incredibly accurate. When speaking with employers, benefits consultants, and TPAs, I frequently hear that the employers need the free market concept to be “made simple,” because they just can’t handle another complicated program, product, vendor, or “solution”. It’s not just the employers; the employees are just as overwhelmed with all of the different options to figure out how their health plan works.
This magazine may be called “Free Market Healthcare Solutions”, but the intent is not to sell a product. We want to initiate a paradigm shift in the way employers, their employees and, ultimately, all of us make healthcare purchasing decisions.
The brutal truth is, there is no specific product, program, widget, or vendor that completely solves the complicated issues in our healthcare system. Without a shift in the way everyone thinks about healthcare, the only end in sight is for the system to crash and the government to ‘save’ everyone with single payer.
12 Ways to Free-Marketize your Plan: RX Costs
- Encourage employees to “shop” for their prescriptions; costs can vary widely between pharmacies, even with a PBM.
- Many PBM contracts make the cost of a drug higher than if it was bought with no contract in place.
- If employee pays cash for lower-cost RXs, structure your Plan to reimburse these purchases.
- Cover the cost of RXs purchased by the employee from their DPC; generally at wholesale prices.
- Check out free market pharmacies.