Patient Empowerment

Empowering Patients with Price Transparency Tools — CBI Conference

To be informed healthcare consumers, patients need access to tools that display cost and options to help afford their medications. Here, healthcare industry experts weigh in on the increasingly popular concept of patient consumerism and today's available solutions for promoting informed healthcare decision-making by providers and patients alike.

Austin Raper, Ph.D.CoverMyMeds Editorial Team
March 26th, 2019
A provider discusses medication payment options with a patient and his young son.

To be informed healthcare consumers, patients need tools that display cost and options to afford medications.

Brent Schwartz, executive director of marketing for Allergan Dermatology, spent time discussing real-time benefit check (RTBC), a technological innovation that surfaces prescription benefit details for patients and providers at the point of prescribing.

Electronic solutions for RTBC can be integrated into a provider’s electronic health record (EHR) system and are designed to surface information on patient out-of-pocket costs, drug alternatives and prior authorization (PA) requirements. Through RTBC, patients gain visibility into how much a prescription will cost before going to the pharmacy — some solutions even offer options for affording medications.

While Brent acknowledged the value of RTBC for patients, he went a step further to explain how RTBC can benefit providers and pharmacies as well. According to Brent, patients now consider themselves consumers in the healthcare marketplace, as other industries have made strides to protect and empower consumers through information and options for making educated purchasing decisions.

A lack of such transparency and options in healthcare may negatively influence patients’ decisions to remain with their current providers or pharmacies.

The intent (of technologies like RTBC) is to prevent the patient from showing up at the pharmacy and having a bad experience: (The medication) is not covered, it’s $500, there’s a prior authorization which has not been completed…

Brent Schwartz

With RTBC, providers can inform patients if a PA is needed and start the PA electronically at the point of prescribing, so miscommunications at the pharmacy are less likely to happen. Brent applauded RTBC solutions, like RxBenefit Clarity, that are able to leverage pharmacy connections to surface the cash price for medications, so that patients get more options on how to best afford their prescriptions and avoid sticker shock at the pharmacy counter.

…there are opportunities to get product off benefit for cash… providing more of a complete picture of what all the options are (for the patient). Also bringing in copay assistance options to show what the out-of-pocket cost is net of any copay assistance that’s available.

Brent Schwartz

Brent also covered a range of other topics, including electronic prior authorization (ePA), the value of centralized teams for completing PA requests and important questions to consider when selecting a vendor for RTBC and ePA solutions.

Check out the full talk below and learn more about how technology can be leveraged to help patients get the medications they need to live healthy lives: CBI Hubs Conference Recording of Brent Schwartz

Austin Raper, Ph.D.CoverMyMeds Editorial Team

The latest healthcare insights, floated right to your inbox.

There was an error submitting the form. Please refresh or try again later.
iPhone showcasing News and Insights Article