Hospitals and managed care: catching up with the networks.
Although the growth of managed care is having a significant impact on hospitals, organizational response to managed care remains fragmented. We conducted a survey of 83 hospitals nationwide that indicated that most hospitals now have at least one person devoted to managed care initiatives. These individuals, however, often spend most of their time on current issues, such as contracting with managed care organizations and physician relations. Concerns for the future, such as network development and marketing, although important, receive less immediate attention form these individuals. Hospital managed care executives must take a more proactive role in long range managed care planning by collaborating with managed care organizations and pharmaceutical companies. (+info)
Essential drugs for ration kits in developing countries.
Since the early 1980s drug ration kits have been used to improve the supply of essential drugs to rural health facilities in developing countries. This paper evaluates some of the experiences with kit systems in Angola, Bhutan, Democratic Yemen, Guinea-Conakry, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in relation to the selection of drugs for the kits and their quantities and cost. Data were collected through a review of published papers, annual reports and programme evaluations, by questionnaires among field staff and interviews with key experts. In comparing the 10 programmes, 21 drugs can be identified that are used in at least two-thirds of all kits. This list may be useful for evaluation and planning purposes. Six drugs (ORS, chloroquine and 4 antibiotics) usually account for over 60% of the cost of the kit. Careful monitoring of the price and quantities of these 6 drugs can therefore be very cost-effective. In the absence of reliable data on morbidity and drug needs in the initial phases of a kit system, the median drug quantities in kits from these 10 countries may serve as a starting point. Accumulating surpluses are sometimes perceived as a serious disadvantage of kit systems, ORS, benzylbenzoate solution and iron tablets are the three drugs that have most frequently accumulated. These drugs are relatively cheap and usually have a long shelf-life; in most programmes they have been successfully redistributed to other health facilities while the kit content was being adapted. The overall financial loss due to accumulation of surpluses is therefore limited. Most programmes have reached a stable kit content within two years. (+info)
Managed care guidelines for the economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals.
Foundation Health Corporation, through its National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, requires all pharmaceutical manufacturers and others who wish products to be considered for formulary listing to meet evidentiary and analytical standards in their submission documentation. This article details the evidentiary and analytical standards required from those making submissions and describes the methodological basis of the guidelines. This is the first time, as far as the authors are aware, that a managed care health system in the United States has required formulary submissions not only to meet clinical and economic evaluation standards, but also to take explicit account of the perspective of the managed care group in applying these techniques. Submissions are required to take what is described as a systems impact perspective. This approach is quite different, in both evidentiary and analytical terms, from standards required by health systems in other countries and standards for the economic evaluation of pharmaceuticals proposed by expert groups in the United States. (+info)
Incorporating quality of life data into managed care formulary decisions: a case study with salmeterol.
Pharmacy and Therapeutics committees of managed care organizations have traditionally developed formularies by limiting the numbers and kinds of pharmaceuticals they purchase, with the goal of cutting costs. These attempts to manage pharmaceutical costs do not take into account the interrelationship of the costs of various components of care; thus, drug costs may decrease, but expenditures for utilization of other resources may increase. Cost-minimization and basic cost-effectiveness studies, on which many prior- authorization and formulary programs are based, only evaluate only the cost of the drug and its effectiveness. However, with the heightened competition in the healthcare market, emphasis is increasingly being laid on patient satisfaction and outcomes. Cost-utility analysis is a potentially superior pharmacoeconomic tool because it evaluate the effect of drug therapy on quality of life; however, data from such analyses are seldom readily available to the committees that evaluate a drug's potential effects on the entire healthcare system. The purpose of this review is to stress the importance of approaching formulary management from a wider perspective and to emphasize that the results of cost-utility studies should be proactively evaluated and incorporated into decisions regarding formularies. This is especially important for symptom-intensive diseases, such as asthma, in which the quality of life can be notably impaired. Cost-utility analyses should be conducted for all newer therapies, such as salmeterol, which are highly effective and which have a positive impact on quality of life, to determine the overall effect on the managed care plan's budget. (+info)
Looking beyond the formulary budget in cost-benefit analysis.
With the introduction of newer, more expensive psychotropic medications, healthcare providers and managed care administrators must consider whether these drugs offer "value for the money." A true picture of the benefits of these drugs emerges only when all the costs of treatment are considered. Focusing exclusively on the acquisition cost of the drug can result in a misleading impression of the drug's worth. Although the medication costs associated with treating a patient with a newer drug increase, use of these agents may actually result in an overall decrease in healthcare costs, through reductions in hospitalization and length of stay, use of mental health services, and prescriptions for adjunctive drugs. In one study of the newer antipsychotic agent risperidone, the overall annual costs of treating a patient with schizophrenia were reduced by nearly $8,000 (Canadian dollars), even though medication costs increased by approximately $1,200 (Canadian dollars). Retrospective and prospective pharmacoeconomic studies can provide valuable data on the cost effectiveness of treatment with newer psychotropic medications. (+info)
Formulary limitations and the elderly: results from the Managed Care Outcomes Project.
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether restrictive formularies are associated with differences in healthcare resource utilization, including number of office visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations, and whether this association varies by age. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional, longitudinal study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients enrolled in one of six health maintenance organizations in six different states, three in the eastern and three in the western United States, were eligible for the study. Data from between 1309 and 3938 patients were available for analysis for each of the five diseases studied, for a total of 12,997 patients across all study diseases. Healthcare utilization by patients in the study included more than 99,000 office visits, 1000 hospitalizations, and 240,000 prescriptions. We used severity-adjusted prescription counts, prescription costs, office visit counts, and measures of inpatient hospital utilization to assess the effects of formulary limitations. RESULTS: We found positive, significant associations between the independent variable formulary limitations in drug class and the dependent variables measuring resource utilization. These associations were sometimes significantly greater for elderly patients after controlling for severity of illness and other variables. CONCLUSIONS: Common strategies for decreasing drug expenditures may be associated with higher severity-adjusted resource utilization. In specific areas, this association is more pronounced in the elderly. (+info)
Atypical antipsychotics and formulary decisions.
Although drug costs are a small fraction of the total direct costs of treating schizophrenia, managed care has focused on drug acquisition costs as an area of concern. There is pressure to demonstrate by outcome measures that the increased cost of the newer atypical antipsychotics versus traditional neuroleptics is justified. Decision makers want to be convinced that newer, more expensive treatment translates to value. Evidence accumulated to date suggests that the atypical agents are cost-effective. Studies show patients taking atypical antipsychotics have an improved quality of life, are more easily rehabilitated and reintegrated into the community, return to full- or part-time work more often, and prefer the newer agents to conventional antipsychotics. These benefits have been shown in studies of olanzapine versus haloperidol. Just as important, patients taking atypical antipsychotics show decreased medical care resource utilization, which results in cost savings. (+info)
Determining whether managed care formularies meet the needs of pediatric patients.
This activity is designed for healthcare providers making formulary decisions for managed care organizations. GOAL: To help clinicians determine whether managed care formularies meet the needs of pediatric patients. OBJECTIVES: 1. List general considerations for establishing a pediatric drug formulary. 2. Understand the importance of growth and development when selecting drug therapy for pediatric patients. 3. Discuss potential difficulties with administering medications during school hours. 4. Identify specific medications within the drug classes of antibiotics, asthma medications, endocrine, and gastrointestinal agents that should be available on a pediatric drug formulary. (+info)