A Focus On Affordability in 2018

By Forrest Burke, CEO, National Markets, UnitedHealthcare

December is a time when many of us look back at the previous year and plan for the future. At UnitedHealthcare, it is no different. For us, that process always begins with you: What were your biggest concerns in 2018? What is on your mind as we enter 2019? 

To better understand, we delved into our past issues to find the top 3 articles that captured your interest. We learned that these stories share one overriding theme: affordability.  Everyone is looking at new strategies for better cost control in health plan management. For those who missed them, we are bringing them back to the forefront.  

The first article addresses one of the most challenging issues in health plan management: specialty pharmaceutical costs. In it, we discuss why adopting a holistic approach to specialty pharmacy management can help you bend the trend. To get you started, the article also offers 5 ways to help you think about a comprehensive strategy for specialty management. You can read it here.

Our second most popular article makes the case for developing a broad, long-term approach to network planning. We explain the pitfalls of quick fixes such as temporary discounts as the foundation to drive more value from your provider network. We argue instead for proven strategies such as adopting the high-performance network model to help reduce costs and improve outcomes. You can find it here.

Finally, the third of our most popular articles from 2018 showcases a new software tool that makes comparing pharmacy drug prices easier while simplifying and reducing administration costs. This new solution, called PreCheck MyScript, alerts providers to the precise prescription costs for individual members at different pharmacies and even guides them to more affordable alternatives.  You can learn more about this new solution here.

At UnitedHealthcare, we will continue to focus on driving greater affordability through innovation in products, services and administration in 2019. On behalf of everyone at UnitedHealthcare, I thank you for your trust in us. 

I wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy new year.