Tag Archives: prescription drugs

Report explains the need for a waste-free formulary for pharmacy benefits

Joseph Burns

About Joseph Burns

Joseph Burns (@jburns18), a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance. He welcomes questions and suggestions on insurance resources and tip sheets at joseph@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Marko Javorac via Flickr

A recent study from the Commonwealth Fund and the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH) shows that developing a waste-free formulary by cutting the number of high-cost, low-value drugs in employers’ health benefit plans could save employers as much as 24% in pharmacy spending.

Concern about rising prescription drug costs has caused large self-insured employers to develop innovative formularies for the pharmacy benefit plans they provide to employees, their family members and retirees. A formulary is a list of drugs that employers and health plans include in their benefit plans for employees and members. Continue reading

Modifying use of some prescription drugs may reduce fracture risk in older adults

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Marko Javorac via Flickr

Photo: Marko Javorac via Flickr

Some fragility fractures – those that occur at standing height – may be preventable by modifying a patient’s prescription drug regimen.

Older adults are more prone to these types of fractures, costing the U.S. health system about $16 billion annually in direct medical costs. Patients who already have had one fracture are more likely to incur additional ones. Continue reading

Things to watch for as Medicare open enrollment gets underway

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: jennie-o via Flickr

Photo: jennie-o via Flickr

This week marks the start of Medicare’s open enrollment period, when beneficiaries can shop for a Medicare Advantage (MA) or Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for 2016. Open enrollment happens every year from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is encouraging people with Medicare to check whether they’re getting the best price and quality plan available based on their current and anticipated health needs. Continue reading

Getting past conventional wisdom in the prescription drug epidemic #ahcj13

Alysia Santo

About Alysia Santo

Alysia Santo is a reporter at The Albany Times Union. She is attending Health Journalism 2013 on an AHCJ-New York Health Journalism Fellowship, which is supported by the New York State Health Foundation.

Drug-induced fatalities are one of the only preventable causes of death that’s rising, rather than decreasing.

That’s because deaths from prescription narcotics have exploded, and as the panelists at a Health Journalism 2013 panel explained, there are ways to get past the talking points of this “epidemic” and decipher some of the causes for the public.

Lisa Girion, an investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times, went document diving to get to the root of the problem in a multi-part series she reported with Scott Glover called “Dying for Relief.” Continue reading