ZIFFPAGE TITLEBeyond the Pharmacy

By David F. Carr  |  Posted 2004-10-01 Print this article Print

The manager of pharmacy benefits gives customer what they want—quick answers to their questions—by supplementing a central data warehouse with smaller analytic databases to handle particular questions. The result: Market share has doubled.

Beyond the Pharmacy

Speed isn't all that matters to customers. Skalitzky thinks it's possible that her printing company will "outgrow" NMHC and move to getting pharmacy benefits as part of a health insurance plan. "Sometimes if you tie those together, you can swing a better deal," she says.

NMHC is responding by trying to turn itself into more than just a pharmacy benefits administrator. Partly on the strength of Integrail, NMHC is starting to style itself as a "total health-care solution" company.

Where the pharmacy administrator provides reports that help customers track their drug cost trends, Integrail goes further with predictive modeling and risk analysis of all types of health-care costs. That means a benefits manager such as Skalitzky can use drug refill order data to detect when chronically ill employees are failing to take their medicine, which in turn can head off much bigger bills from hospital stays.

As Hall explains: "We're helping customers lower costs, maintain costs and avoid future costs."

David F. Carr David F. Carr is the Technology Editor for Baseline Magazine, a Ziff Davis publication focused on information technology and its management, with an emphasis on measurable, bottom-line results. He wrote two of Baseline's cover stories focused on the role of technology in disaster recovery, one focused on the response to the tsunami in Indonesia and another on the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.David has been the author or co-author of many Baseline Case Dissections on corporate technology successes and failures (such as the role of Kmart's inept supply chain implementation in its decline versus Wal-Mart or the successful use of technology to create new market opportunities for office furniture maker Herman Miller). He has also written about the FAA's halting attempts to modernize air traffic control, and in 2003 he traveled to Sierra Leone and Liberia to report on the role of technology in United Nations peacekeeping.David joined Baseline prior to the launch of the magazine in 2001 and helped define popular elements of the magazine such as Gotcha!, which offers cautionary tales about technology pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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