Just when you thought it was safe to get a prescription comes a new terror like nothing seen before. Okay, maybe it isn't that bad but I do think it is a little scary. As you may know, our country is run more and more by technology. Heck, we leave a fingerprint almost every second of the day whether it be signing into a computer, buying gas, getting a cup of coffee, putting in an ATM code and on and on. We are used to it. On the other end, companies are making a business out of mining that data so no one should be surprised that our good friends at the insurance companies are on top of this. As stated in a Washington Post piece, they are tapping into prescription drug information as well as clinical or pathological laboratory information. Here is a nice quote:
"Ingenix and Milliman create the profiles by plumbing rich databases of prescription drug histories kept by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which help insurers process drug claims. Ingenix, for instance, has servers in the PBM data centers, updating the drug files as frequently as once a day, said John Stenson, senior vice president of consulting for Ingenix, which is a division of UnitedHealth Group. The corporation also owns UnitedHealthcare, the nation's second-largest insurer."
There is our old PBM buddies again. Just another partner in the Medical Axis of Evil. This program sounds innocent enough but it is just another way for the insurance companies to save money.....for themselves. But what if the information is not completely accurate? What if a patient is taking a blood pressure medication for BPH? Or an antidepressant for ED? What if the patient no longer needed the cholesterol medication because she lost 80 pounds? The article mentions more examples and also details how doctors will have to get involved to try and make appeals for patients (an unpaid service).
At what point will doctors and patients finally get together and tell these companies to go #^**& themselves? Similar to the way we are finally cutting down on gas consumption, I think we are getting close.