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Employer News | April 2017
Employer News | April 2017

Survey Shows High Satisfaction With Prescription Home Delivery

Nearly three out of 10 upstate New York adults who take a prescription medication have used home delivery when getting their prescriptions filled, and 94 percent of home delivery users were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their experience, according to the results of a new survey commissioned by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.

“Prescription home delivery is reliable and convenient, it offers the possibility of saving money, and it can improve medication adherence,” said Mona Chitre, Pharm.D., Excellus BCBS chief pharmacy officer and vice president of Medical Operations and Health Innovations.

According to Chitre, medications are delivered on time and packaged for protection from the summer heat or the winter cold.  

The online survey, administered by the polling firm One Research, contacted 2,000 upstate New York adults, which is a representative sample of the region’s U.S. Census Bureau demographic profile. Survey respondents identified the top benefits of prescription home delivery as convenience (70 percent) and free delivery (66 percent).

Percent of adult population using prescription home delivery, by region:

Central New York’s Southern Tier Region …….42 percent
Utica/Rome/North Country Region…………….…31 percent
Central New York Region …………………………..29 percent
Western New York Region …………………………28 percent
Finger Lakes Region…………………................21 percent

View Survey Results (PDF)

Age was a factor in the utilization of prescription home delivery:  37 percent of adults in the 18- to 24-year-old age group, and also of those in the 65-year-old and older age group, reported using the service. The lowest percentage of home delivery users was in the 45- to 54-year-old age group (22 percent).

Medicare Part D beneficiaries who use home delivery for medications to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure are more likely to take their medications as directed than those who pick up their prescriptions from a retail pharmacy, according to research published in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy.

The top reason for NOT using prescription home delivery, according to the results of the survey, was the convenience of going to a local pharmacy (42 percent), followed by the preference to interact with a pharmacist in-person (30 percent).

“Patients who sign up for home delivery still have the opportunity to interact with a pharmacist,” said Chitre. “By law, each prescription delivered must be accompanied by a phone number where a licensed pharmacist can be reached.”  

View Rx Home Delivery - Member Infographic (PDF)

Among survey respondents, 18 percent were not aware of prescription home delivery, and 13 percent did not know how to sign up for the service.

Significantly more adults in Central New York (21 percent) were not aware of how to sign up for prescription home delivery, compared to adults in the Finger Lakes Region and Western New York (both 12 percent), and the Utica/Rome/North Country Region (9 percent).

“The first step is to ask your pharmacist or health insurer about any programs they offer, including prescription home delivery or other 90-day supply programs,” said Chitre.

Prescription home delivery is ideal for patients on long-term medications that typically are prescribed for a 90-day supply. Excellus BCBS members who take maintenance drugs to treat chronic conditions can get free home delivery of their prescriptions from Wegmans Pharmacy, Express Scripts, and other area pharmacies. The complete list is online at ExcellusBCBS.com.  

This option offers members the convenience of having prescriptions sent directly to their home, as well as the possibility of saving money on copayments when ordering a 90-day supply. Opportunities for savings vary, depending on a member’s prescription drug benefit. Patients can continue to use their local retail pharmacy for medications that are needed immediately, such as short-course antibiotics to treat infections.

Results of the survey establish a benchmark for consumer acceptance and use of prescription home delivery.

 

 

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