The county has been with The Healy Group using Advantage Health Solutions for a couple of years now. Nyers said, “The 2012 plan summary shows that the plan performed very well for the county.” When looking at the comparison it was determined that county employees had lees ER visits than those using Advantage but slightly high than the nation benchmark. Hospital bed days were significantly lower than both Advantage and the national benchmark. County employees using the Advantage health insurance plan utilized generic medication 72% of the time, higher than other groups using Advantage and higher than the national benchmark.
Nyers said “The biggest concern we see is the increase of pharmacy use which is up 81% from last year.” He continued, “The trend is at 15%.” Although research is currently being done to determine why the increase, is was suggested that county employees may be taking better care of their health and using more maintenance drugs for high blood pressure, diabetes and such.
The health insurance study also lists out the top ten drugs used by county employees. Nyers said, “Amphetamines are at the top of the list and that is very unusual to see.” He noted that typically these drugs are used for the treatment of ADD and ADHD. The remaining drugs on the list are maintenance drugs.
A look at the top 10 diseases by cost for the county employees show immunity disorder at the top. Also on the list, back issues, missing and unmapped diagnosis, diabetes, sprains and strains, osteoarthritis, and leukemia. Rounding out the top ten is non-traumatic joint disorder, other connective tissue disease and other screening for suspected illness.
County Auditor Penny Lukenbill said employees are finding is difficult to get appointments with their physicians and even nurse-practitioners. She suggested that may have been a reason for the increase in ER visits from the prior year.
Nyers said he has a client in Elkhart who had a large number of employees facing the same issue. That company has instituted their own clinic for employees to use. He said a county based clinic might be possible although typically there need to be 500 employees to make it a viable option. Nyers said the county could do a joint venture with the city or school as an option. There was no other discussion on the subject.