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COVID-19 may have distorted drug costs



While drug spending on workers' compensation continued to decline in 2020, a report published Thursday by pharmacy chairman myMatrixx said the effects of COVID-19 on labor and injuries may have complicated numbers.

For payers with an employee compensation program managed by myMatrixx, an Express Scripts company's total prescription utilization in 2020 decreased by 4.9% and the cost per day supply decreased by 2.6%. In total, 40.7% of insurance companies reduced drug spending that year, according to the report.

However, a reduction in new claims for 2020 – due to widespread unemployment and the transition to telework – caused older claims to "distort" the average. overall drug use, which led to a statistical increase of 1

2.2% in the individual injured patient level, which myMatrixx in its report termed "COVID distortion effect." while older claims have greater prescription use and cost.

Long a downward trend, in some cases opioid spending decreased by 1.2%, but the rate of decline is lower than in previous years, and myMatrixx said that its clinical team "investigates potential causes of this trend, especially with regard to the COVID distortion effect . ”

The report also stated that compensatory treatment for COVID-19 symptoms has had a“ minimal impact ”on prescription items, which cover less than 0.25% of total expenditure.

More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here

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