In a recent Healthcare Crossroads podcast episode, Jennifer McNamara sat down with [now former] HealthTrust SVP of IHP, Joey Dizenhouse, an expert in pharmacy benefit management (PBM). They explore the latest data trends in the PBM market, including rising healthcare costs. The conversation explores the growing importance of data analytics and technology in managing pharmacy benefits and improving patient outcomes.

Throughout the episode, Joey shares his experiences and observations from his work in the PBM industry and as a patient advocate, offering valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing patients, providers, and PBMs in today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.

Listen to the full Healthcare Crossroads Podcast episode here.

Patient assistance programs & drug pricing issues

During the pandemic, many patient assistance programs have emerged to help cover the cost of medication. However, some third-party companies have stepped in, trying to negotiate with manufacturers and ultimately making a profit. This has led to a lot of confusion surrounding the pricing of drugs and the various practices that are being implemented.

Lessons learned from the pandemic

Joey emphasized the importance of not losing sight of other critical issues when a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic draws our attention. Substance dependence and mental health issues have worsened during the pandemic, and these problems must not be overshadowed by the primary focus on COVID.

Jennifer McNamara agreed, stating that mental health issues have affected nearly everyone in some way, either directly or indirectly. There is now an urgent need for a coordinated effort to address these challenges and ensure that no one is left behind, regardless of the issues we face.

Mobilizing & acting quickly

As the dust of the pandemic begins to settle, there is a significant opportunity to help struggling populations who have suffered from these exacerbated mental health and substance dependence issues. Both Joey and Jennifer stressed the importance of being well-equipped and ready to act quickly in providing support and resources to those in need.

Finding the right balance in information sharing

Another crucial lesson learned from the pandemic is the need to strike the right balance when it comes to sharing information about various health issues. While focusing on COVID was necessary, other equally important problems, such as mental health and substance dependence, should not have been neglected or downplayed in the process.

Connecting & collaborating for a better future

Joey highlighted the importance of staying connected and informed through platforms like LinkedIn and attending industry-focused conferences. By fostering communication and collaboration among experts, policymakers, and healthcare providers, we can better address the challenges posed by mental health and substance dependence in a post-pandemic world.

Looking forward

This conversation underscores the importance of addressing mental health and substance dependence issues as we move into a post-pandemic era. By learning from the challenges faced during the pandemic and focusing on a collaborative approach, we can create a better support system for those struggling with these issues and ultimately foster a healthier society for all.

Whether you’re a healthcare professional, patient, or simply interested in the latest trends and developments in the pharmacy benefit management industry, this podcast episode provides many key insights to help your organization.

If you’re interested in learning more in navigating your PBM program, download the in-depth guide
Top 5 Things to Know to Negotiate a PBM Contract here

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