Feb 22, 2023 | by Rick Chelko, Commentary
Transparency is a hot topic these days. Americans are searching for transparent drug pricing, transparent hospital pricing, transparent broker revenue, and more. Vendors are lining up to address this issue. Sometimes that’s responding to legal mandates for reporting. Sometimes it’s sales spin to meet market demand. And sometimes it’s actually a few companies that do business differently.
This is clearly an issue that most corporate health plan managers want to address. But how does a corporate buyer tell the difference between real transparency and the so-called variety? (more…)
Oct 21, 2022 | by Rick Chelko, Commentary
October is American Pharmacists Month ꟷ a celebration of the invaluable work done by pharmacists and the vital role that they play in society. So, go hug your favorite pharmacist! [Wait a second. Check that. It may not be appropriate.]
How about we just take a moment to reflect on and appreciate the pharmacists who have played important roles in our lives. For me, that means giving a shout-out to Kelly Prymicz and Lucia Vescera ꟷ two PharmDs that I am so grateful to be able to work with each day. (more…)
Aug 25, 2022 | by Rick Chelko, Commentary
The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act includes a series of provisions intended to reduce prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Because the bill got through Congress via the budget reconciliation process, it was not allowed to include drug pricing provisions that apply to the commercial market (i.e., employer-sponsored health plans).
So, the law couldn’t do it, but can employers do it on their own? Or maybe the bigger question is: Will they? Worse yet, will this law create a significant cost shift from Medicare to private sector plans? Only time will tell! (more…)
Apr 5, 2022 | by Rick Chelko, Commentary
As you might guess from the title and subtitle of Dave Chase’s popular book Relocalizing Health: The Future of Health Care is Local, Open and Independent, the emphasis on “local” is a key building block for his vision of a more cost-effective health care system. While I support many of the concepts discussed in the book, I remain skeptical when it comes to the localization premise ꟷ at least as it applies to large employers with distributed operations. (more…)
Feb 24, 2022 | by Rick Chelko, Commentary
A friend of mine is the CEO of a structural engineering company that specializes in maintenance, construction, modifications, inspections, and emergency services within the broadcast industry. Pretty mundane stuff, right? Far from it.
What I failed to mention is that the company’s niche is working on the highest communications towers in the country ― towers that rise as high as 2,000 feet in the air. (more…)
Jan 19, 2022 | by Rick Chelko, Commentary
Most companies and their functional areas tend to passionately pursue best-in-class performance, but do executives send a different signal to their employee benefits teams? (more…)