Drug Utilization Management
For certain prescription drugs, special rules restrict how and when the plan covers them. A team of doctors and pharmacists developed these rules to help our members use drugs in the most effective ways. These special rules also help control overall drug costs, which keeps your drug coverage more affordable.
In general, our rules encourage you to get a drug that works for your medical condition and is safe and effective. Whenever a safe, lower-cost drug will work just as well medically as a higher-cost drug, the plan’s rules are designed to encourage you and your provider to use that lower-cost option. We also need to comply with Medicare’s rules and regulations for drug coverage and cost sharing.
We also have special programs to help members use their drugs safely. We conduct drug use reviews for our members to help make sure that they are getting safe and appropriate care. These reviews are especially important for members who have more than one provider who prescribes their drugs.
We do a review each time you fill a prescription. We also review our records on a regular basis. During these reviews, we look for potential problems such as:
- Possible medication errors
- Drugs that may not be necessary because you are taking another drug to treat the same medical condition
- Drugs that may not be safe or appropriate because of your age or gender
- Certain combinations of drugs that could harm you if taken at the same time
- Prescriptions written for drugs that have ingredients you are allergic to
- Possible errors in the amount (dosage) of a drug you are taking
If we see a possible problem in your use of medications, we will work with your provider to correct the problem.
Information About Prescription Opioid Pain Medication
If you take a prescription opioid pain medication, you may hear of opioid policies put into place by Medicare that encourage your pharmacy, provider and SCAN to work together with you to ensure safe use of these medications. These policies include safety reviews that occur when you fill your opioid prescription at the pharmacy and drug management programs to make sure you need these medications and are using them safely. The below documents, in part, explain these policies.
Safe Use of Opioid Pain Medication – Information for Medicare Part D Patients - This brief document summarizes the policies.
Medicare Part D Opioid Policies - This guide provides more information about these policies including myths and facts, the drug management program case management process, coverage limitations, and appeals process.