ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Of the two-thirds of Americans who have been prescribed a medication, 50 percent of them don’t take their drugs as prescribed1 largely because of the high cost of the drugs and sticker shock at the pharmacy. Twenty to 30 percent of prescriptions are never even filled.2 The impact ripples through healthcare. Each year, the impact of patients not taking their meds as prescribed leads to nearly 125,000 deaths, 10 percent of hospitalizations, and $100–$289 billion a year in additional healthcare costs.3
With more than 25 million individuals enrolled in high-deductible health plans,4 61 million enrolled in Medicare Parts A/B, and 76 million enrolled in Medicaid,5 pricing transparency is essential to help patients get on their medications and reduce the billions of dollars per year in preventable and unnecessary costs.
DrFirst, the nation’s leading provider of e-prescribing, price transparency, and medication management solutions, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Epic, the industry’s leading provider of electronic health record (EHR) software, to make DrFirst’s myBenefitCheck (real-time benefit check) service available to clients in Epic’s RTPB (Real Time Prescription Benefits) prescribing workflow to help doctors and patients understand the cost of the drugs and drive medication adherence.
With DrFirst, prescribers using Epic’s EHR can see patient- and payer-specific prescription drug information like copays and prior authorization status while the patient is in the office and before an order is sent to the pharmacy. Real-time access to this information promotes better collaboration between patient and prescriber and helps physicians identify therapeutic alternatives that are both clinically appropriate and affordable, based on the patient’s specific health plan benefits.
“The high cost of medications is driving a growing prescription abandonment issue that can be addressed with the right information at the point of service,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “DrFirst has been delivering its MedHx® solution successfully to Epic users for years to provide higher quality medication history. Now, we are pleased to provide Epic and its clients access to DrFirst’s industry-leading benefit check service from within their EHR workflow while the patient is with the doctor. Adding myBenefitCheck closes a gap cited in the recent Kaiser Health News article that providers cannot get a complete price transparency solution from Surescripts alone, because many payers have chosen not to participate in that solution. By adding DrFirst’s myBenefitCheck to Epic’s EHR, providers have a solution that includes information from all available payers.”
DrFirst pioneered prescription drug transparency, developing the first real-time benefit check solution in 2015 in collaboration with Humana. Since then, DrFirst has partnered with health information networks, payers, and providers like Surescripts, OptumRx (UnitedHealthcare), Cigna, and more, to provide a comprehensive solution for prescribers to access real-time costs through the largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the U.S. DrFirst’s myBenefitCheck is currently processing more than 2.8 million transactions per month and has helped more than 6.5 million patients. Out-of-pocket cost savings for patients have been as much as $640, and average around $11 for a 30-day prescription.
By accessing a patient’s out-of-pocket cost for therapies, prescribers can help drive medication adherence and reduce prescription abandonment with in-workflow access to a patient’s out-of-pocket cost for different therapies. Accessing this information during a patient visit opens the door to a collaborative discussion about taking medications as prescribed and together, choosing the most cost-effective, therapeutically equivalent drug to achieve the desired health outcomes.
Via myBenefitCheck, prescribers can check both covered and non-covered drugs, suggest lower cost alternatives to the patient, and provide opportunities for patient assistance programs to lower cost even further. Additionally, myBenefitCheck alerts physicians when a prior authorization is required by a patient’s benefit plan and suggests alternatives that do not require prior authorization, reducing patient and provider frustration and getting patients on therapies faster.
DrFirst, the nation’s leading provider of e-prescribing, price transparency, and medication management solutions, enables stakeholders across the healthcare industry to use comprehensive real-time data and connectivity to increase their patient safety ratings, efficiency, and profitability. Today, more than 220,000 healthcare professionals, 105,000 prescribers, 67,000 pharmacies, 1,000+ acute care facilities, 21,000+ ambulatory care facilities, and more than 300 electronic health record (EHR) and pharmacy system vendors depend on DrFirst’s innovative software solutions to improve clinical workflows, expedite secure collaboration across a patient’s care team, and drive better health outcomes. The company’s integrated technologies include its award-winning electronic prescribing platform, the most comprehensive medication history available, clinically specialized secure messaging, and patient medication adherence monitoring and benefits checking. Also, DrFirst was the first to offer e-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) and is considered the industry standard for providers nationwide. For more information, please visit www.drfirst.com or connect with us @DrFirst.
3 A review in the Annals of Internal Medicine