I had been meaning to write this post for a while. Vacation finally gave me the time to talk about my feelings of doing something big with the company I love, Change Healthcare.
If you know me, you know I don’t really do interviews. I don’t really like to be on camera or in the spotlight… I’m more of a behind the scenes get-shit-done type guy. But I make the exceptioin every once in a while, and this time it was for Travis Robertson at PodCamp Nashville 2011.
Enjoy the video (ps, the audio is bad for like a minute but gets better).
Check out the video and story below, a great bit of information from the company I work for, change:healthcare. We recently published our first quarterly HCTI – Healthcare Transparency Index – that shows you some of the trending data we are seeing from our massive data set from all across the US. The gist of it is this: you can shop for everything under the sun but healthcare. You can instantly lookup any Christmas present, car, can of soup, DVD… you name it. But in healthcare that has not been the case until now. change:healthcare works with employers and insurance carriers to show the true cost of medical services, dental services and prescriptions to employees before they have to spend the money. This is freakin’ awesome!
While the government claims to provide pricing for drugs and procedures, those listings only highlight what Medicare and Medicaid are willing to reimburse, not what those services actually cost. Hospitals, doctors and insurance companies provide patients with an itemized bill for care – but only AFTER the fact. The Healthcare Transparency Index, issued today by change:healthcare, is the first to provide healthcare consumers with ongoing trends data about actual healthcare costs – offering insight into critical opportunities for cost savings.
With more than 60 percent of employers in the U.S. expected to offer a consumer-directed health plan (CDHP) in 2011 as a way to curb costs, employees and their families will be increasingly accountable for “shopping” and paying for their healthcare – making it more critical than ever for them to understand the costs involved. To be issued quarterly, the inaugural Healthcare Transparency Index includes data derived from more than 1.3 million medical claims, totaling $220 million, from 90,000 individuals across all 50 states over a 12-month period. Key findings include:
- Prescription drugs offer the highest opportunity for cost savings ($8 million across the HCTI data set), followed by dental, routine primary care physician office visits, psychotherapy, physical therapy and chiropractic. View Chart
- Costs for commonly prescribed drugs can vary greatly. The following prescription drugs offer the greatest opportunities for cost savings for both brand names and generics – by simply switching pharmacies. In fact, an Abilify consumer could save up to nearly $2,500/yr by making a pharmacy change. View Chart
- Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, CVS and WalGreens top the list of pharmacy chains with the widest prescription cost discrepancies for both brand name and generic drugs. View Chart
Because of sky-rocketing drug costs, people are looking everywhere for ways to save money on medicine they need to live. And what better way to connect with people than through the tools they are using already. Twitter is that tool! You have Twitter open all day and are watching tweets from friends come across, why not use Twitter as a free health care savings tool too?
How Do I use @ASKch to Save Money on Prescriptions?
change:healthcare has made it so easy, it should be illegal! Simply follow the steps below, and you will be finding ways to save on prescriptions, definitions for medical terms and health conditions and more… all delivered via private direct message using Twitter!
- Follow @askch on Twitter
- Send a formatted question via direct message
- Get a fast, automated answer. That’s it!
What Info Do I Send to @ASKch to Get Info Back?
We took the most common questions people ask about their healthcare, and created a way for you to get the answers, via Twitter, in 60 seconds or less. Below are examples of questions you can get answers to!
Cost of [drug name] near [zipcode]
example tweet: “d askch cost of lexapro near 37211“
Generic for [drug name]
example tweet: “d askch generic for plavix“
What is [drug name]
example tweet: “d askch what is lipitor“
What is [health issue]
example tweet: “d askch what is diabetes“
Generic discounts for [drug name] near [zipcode]
example tweet: “d askch generic discounts for pravachol nearÂ 37221“
This simple tool for saving on prescriptions basically provides you with the following information. If you send it your prescription name and zipcode, it finds the cheapest pharmacy where you can buy that prescription and sends you a link to find out more information. But saving money on prescriptions is more than just finding a lower price. If you ask @askch how to save money by switching to a generic drug, it will send you all of the known names of the generics for your name brand prescription. Generics are the same thing (guided by the FDA), but are much cheaper. Finally, generic discounts are available for 100’s of prescriptions too. Generic discounts are typically available for $4 for 30 days or $10 for 90 days from most pharmacies and grocery store pharmacies. If you ask @askch if there is a generic discount, it will tell you yes/no and if yes, how much it costs and at what pharmacy!
Saving money used to be complicated. Thanks to ASKch, it’s much simpler now.
BTW, if you know me, you know I work for change:healthcare and helped develop this tool. You should use it, it rocks. :)