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Data Mining Marketing Amendment on Senate Health Bill – So Our Medication Records Can Still Be Sold Just not Marketed, Huh?

Posted Dec 10 2009 8:00pm
Well I guess better late than never, but maybe they have not noticed the number of drug reps calling on doctors is also decreasing, so there’s a few less feet on the street.  Most doctors are pretty busy today and I see it all over the place with signs taped on the door, “drug reps by appointment only”.  As a few more cutbacks come in to play though, this may not be as big of an issue as it was at one time but they are getting around to it.

Now what is an issue are middle people that still sell and make money from our medication records. 

Health Insurance Underwriting Practices With Prescription Data – How Does This Work

Here’s 2 companies making a ton of money selling our information, and makes the drug marketing reps who almost look innocent by comparison.  How about the costs and the algorithmic formulas that carve out money with selling our medication records.  If you get your drugs through a Pharmacy Benefit Manager, these folks can get and sell your information.  How profitable is Pharmacy Benefit managing, well Medco just made almost 15 Billion for the 3rd quarter and very people work there, it’s all automated, but there’s some big chunky algorithms that provide some big transaction fees for all the prescriptions run through. 

Medco Health Solutions $14.8 Billion 3rd Quarter Profit – Automation Is Part of Their Solution

If they were to address this part of the issue we might save some big buck on our prescriptions. If you go to one of the $4.00 retailers for most of your meds, they do not go through a Pharmacy Benefit Manager, nor are they recorded unless you sign up for one of the store’s prescription cards that creates a data trail, so pay cash and stay under the radar.  If you are not outside the radar your med records are accumulated and sold, sometimes to insurance companies before they underwrite you so if you take Lipitor for an example, well guess what, they already know you have issues and what they are. 

Again, the Senate is behind but hopefully this first step will draw more attention on making healthcare and the drugs we take affordable.  At the rate layoffs are going and with recent patterns to continue, the marketing will the least to worry about.  BD 

“HIPAA does not give the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to directly investigate or hold accountable entities, such as pharmacy benefit managers or companies such as Ingenix and Milliman, who are not covered by HIPAA.”

You can read the statement from Milliman about Intelliscript here.

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“Does this process make it more difficult for consumers to get insurance?
No.  There is nothing new about consumers authorizing the release of their medical records, including prescriptions, to insurers.  This standard process has been in place for decades, helping insurers make good decisions about rates and insurability.”

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From the Website:

Through a user-friendly interface, you can examine the relationships between various metrics to create revealing population profiles. Built-in filtering, grouping options, and custom report utilities help you to:

  • Identify and examine trends such as prescription volumes and shares over time, variations by prescriber specialties and/or sources, and competitors’ share gains that result from new patient starts and/or switches
  • Segment your market by prescribers or groups of prescribers
  • Track and compare the performance of health plans and custom provider groups, including their performance in relation to specific marketing initiatives
  • Detect and follow product-level switching patterns in your market

WASHINGTON - Drug companies would no longer be able to mine pharmacy records to track which doctors are prescribing their medications, under a proposal unveiled Thursday by two Senate Democrats.

The amendment to the Senate health care bill would effectively ban pharmaceutical data mining, the drug company practice of buying prescription records to target sales pitches to doctors.

However, the Senate amendment only bars the sale of prescribing records "for marketing purposes."

Consumer advocates say the Senate effort could raise the profile of data mining in Congress and among state lawmakers.

Lawmakers move to block mining of Rx data - Capitol Hill- msnbc.com

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