Premier healthcare alliance, MedImpact partner to help hospitals better manage prescription drug costs for their employees

New pharmacy benefit management program provides transparent model for lowering overall drug costs, improving performance and quality with hospital-specific solutions for prescription drug benefit plans

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Premier healthcare alliance has partnered with MedImpact Healthcare Systems Inc., a San Diego-based pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), to co-develop a program that helps hospitals and their benefit plan participants better manage the costs and quality of prescription drugs while delivering exceptional service.

Prescription drug costs have increased at double-digit rates over the past decade, creating a significant financial strain on hospital and health system self-funded employee and commercial drug benefit plans. Providers are in a unique position to bend the cost curve for their prescription drug benefit plans by leveraging clinical and pharmacy assets to take advantage of cost savings programs available to them.

Benefits of the Premier PBM solution will include:

  • Significant savings through increased purchasing power;
  • Pass-through pricing and full transparency on drug pricing, manufacturer rebates and fees;
  • Innovative strategies to optimize generic utilization, in-house fulfillment, and 340B and group purchasing “own use” pricing;
  • Flexibility in benefit and formulary design to lower costs;
  • Collaborative and knowledge sharing initiatives to leverage best practices;
  • Best-in-class data analytics and benchmarking; and
  • High quality service for an improved overall prescription drug experience.

“The PBM model that Premier has formed is such a great concept for both large integrated delivery networks and smaller hospitals alike,” said Robert Carta, RPh, assistant vice president of Pharmacy Services at Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, N.C. “It puts structure and volume all in one arena, thereby reducing costs in the processing of employee prescription claims. Through this model and working with MedImpact, we saw our employee prescription spend decrease by almost 18 percent in 2009. This dramatic savings in year one is linked to own use pharmacy strategies and plan design changes. In 2010, we saved another 3.2 percent in light of the average 4 to 8 percent trend increase being experienced by others. I applaud the new PBM model Premier is rolling out to make these savings trends broadly available.”

Mike Alkire, president of Premier Purchasing Partners said, “Premier alliance members requested assistance with the challenges and rising costs of their self-funded drug benefit plans. Working with MedImpact, we have tailored a solution specifically for health systems and their health plans that will organize the purchasing power and collaborative strength of the alliance to reduce pharmacy benefit costs. It will also provide our members’ employees and dependents with transparent information to make better choices around the cost and quality of their prescriptions, as well as improve customer service.”

MedImpact is the nation’s largest independent and privately-held PBM, managing 35 million lives. The company does not own any pharmacy fulfillment channel (e.g., retail, mail-order or specialty pharmacy), and is therefore not incented to increase drug utilization. MedImpact derives its revenue from managing the drug benefit rather than dispensing prescription drugs. MedImpact’s contracts give plan sponsors audit access to its services and all rebate contracts and visibility into all revenue sources. Under this offering, Premier will help members develop strategies to better use their own pharmacy assets. For example, Premier can assist in creating a network of member mail-order pharmacies for other members to utilize where cost efficiencies can be gained for both organizations.

“MedImpact is aligned with Premier in our efforts to improve the quality and safety of prescription drug therapy while reducing costs,” said Greg Watanabe, president of MedImpact. “Our business model is based on transparency and driving use toward the lowest net cost that is medically appropriate for each patient.”

Hospitals can benefit significantly from this new aggressively negotiated PBM offering, as well as from better utilization of pharmacy assets including a measurable increase in the number of prescriptions dispensed by their in-house pharmacies.

In addition, the offering provides access to pharmacy usage data that will enable the alliance to better understand the quality and cost-effectiveness of drug utilization. This can greatly benefit members of Premier initiatives, such as its accountable care collaboratives and ASCEND® (Accelerated Supply Chain Endeavor) program, as they collaborate to improve performance.

Continued Alkire, “The PBM program provides an opportunity for our members to create a foundation for making healthcare more efficient both within the walls of their own organizations and among their community populations. By maintaining and improving care for their employees and those within their community who use their health plans, they can better integrate healthcare delivery across the continuum.”

About MedImpact Healthcare Systems Inc.

MedImpact HealthCare Systems Inc. has used information technology and human capital to improve the practice of managed care pharmacy since 1989. The company partners with the nation’s finest health plans, hospitals, and employers to provide pharmacy benefit management services. MedImpact works with drug plan sponsors to direct prescribing to the lowest net cost drug that is medically appropriate for the patient. This approach means plan sponsors pay the lowest net drug costs immediately on program implementation. This economic benefit is not only sustained but enhanced over time. For more information, visit

About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient

Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 73,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation's most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom's National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has an office in Washington. Stay connected with Premier on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


Premier healthcare alliance
Alven Weil, 704-816-5797

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