The financial management of healthcare is a fascinating subject that affects each of us in many ways and deeply impacts the health of our country’s economy, as well as its people.
Let us remember that there have always been healthcare providers. Often they were the smartest or most respected, or just learned from their mentors. They had little to go on because there was little knowledge. They were often helping people by just “bending” their minds.
It seems like every day there is another ranting about drug prices — understandably so. They are high and they keep getting higher. Nobody seems to be able to control them.
Reporters from a major metropolitan newspaper took prescriptions for drugs that had serious interaction potentials to a significant number of pharmacies. In the vast majority of the pharmacies, there was no indication that anything was done to deal with the interaction issue.
In the ‘60s I had a boss who was more of a mentor than a boss. He was a physician in charge of a group of four or five health professionals who were creating all of the rules for California’s Medicaid program. We had a lot of fascinating and difficult things to work on.
Yesterday was my 80th birthday. Several times I said, “Thank you for the first 80 years — they have been great. I am looking forward to the next 80. There is still much to do.” However, this is also a time to look back on what has gone on since 1936. What follows are a few of the things that have impressed me.
The difficulty arises when we make measurable things important rather than make important things measurable. What a pharmacy benefits manager’s (PBM’s) drug trend report reveals is interesting, but what it conceals is essential.
Fifty years ago (1966) Medicaid started to exist. I was the staff person in charge of all the Medi-Cal drug program’s policies.There are many fascinating stories to tell.
I have been writing these columns every two months for 31 years. This adds up to more than 180 columns. That’s lots of advice and opinions. Upon thinking back about what I like to write about, there are some recurring themes.
These are a couple of things that I wrote about a few years ago. Please let me know if you have tried them (or will). Both are applicable to independent pharmacies. But only because the chains aren’t smart enough to do them. Both are easy. And both will tell you a lot about your pharmacy’s faults and features.