Prescribing physicians, according to a Bloomberg report, could play a key role in bringing down the cost of drugs for patients.
According to the report, a main driver of high costs is a lack of “value consciousness” from prescribing doctors as the current fee-for-service paradigm pushes them to focus more on effectiveness and patient convenience.
In response to the lack of price awareness, however, some health plans have worked to develop new strategies, though some may come with their own set of flaws.
Bloomberg cites one example in which health plans implement strict formularies to ultimately make high-cost treatments more complicated, pushing patients to test a lower-cost option.
“The most prominent example is prior authorization, which requires doctors to fill out cumbersome paperwork and submit clinical data to justify the prescription,” according to the report. “Yet more than 90 percent or more of prior authorizations are approved, leading many physicians and patients to wonder why a more efficient process isn’t possible.”