Removing the Barriers to Behavior Change

In case you haven’t noticed, we want every person on the planet to spend less on prescription drugs. It’s not as easy as it sounds, though.

Believe it or not, an incentive like saving hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars per year sometimes isn’t enough to compel a change. We call it “behavior change,” and no, it doesn’t mean changing the way you behave toward a spouse, your kids or coworkers. In this case, it simply means taking action on a savings opportunity.

When that requires getting a different prescription from a doctor, behavior change is less likely. Even though it’s not a big deal, many people perceive it that way. Maybe they don’t want to question their doctor. It’s too big of a hassle or too confusing. It’s too easy to procrastinate.

From our perspective, it’s too big of an opportunity to miss. That’s why we developed the Contact Prescriber feature as an available add-on to the Member Portal.

Here’s how it works: Member sees a savings alert on their dashboard. Member sees a new prescription is required. Member clicks a button. Done.

Our Pharmacy Support team handles the rest: contacting the prescriber’s office with the change request, following up as necessary, and then notifying the member when the new prescription is ready to pick up—often at a dramatically lower cost than the old one.

Contact Prescriber has achieved the desired results:

  • Three out of every four (76 percent) clicks of the “easy button” result in successful behavior changes
  • Members wait less than five days to receive the new prescription
  • Members save an average of $55 per fill ($442 per year); plan savings are $193 ($1,694 per year)

That 24 percent of the time it doesn’t work? Sometimes the prescriber isn’t reachable, or it had been too long since the member had an office visit. Sometimes the member clicks the button and proves to be unreachable afterward. Even with those instances accounted for, it’s been gratifying to see the results less than one year since we launched Contact Prescriber, and the numbers keep telling a better story every month. It’s also been revealing. Clearly, the perceived burden of changing one’s prescription is a real barrier. Perception is reality.

Stephanie, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City member, summed up her experience with Contact Prescriber: "It was so easy. (Rx Savings Solutions) called my physician for me. I selected which pharmacy I wanted it filled at and had MANY options to choose from, all near me and showing me which pharmacy was the cheapest. Love it!

"What else can we do to facilitate more behavior change? How can we extend and enhance features like Contact Prescriber? We’ve got our best people on it right now. That’s all of us at Rx Savings Solutions, and that’s our challenge—and our excitement.

Tags: Engagement