Insurer Alliance Launches Online Database of Health Plan Prescription Drug Formularies
The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare last week launched an online database of health plan formularies to provide physicians with a single source of information on patients' prescription drug coverage. The Formulary DataSource will allow physicians to verify that the drugs they prescribe are covered by patients' health plans without having to consult numerous paper guides, according to CAQH. Through the Formulary DataSource, a physician can select a patient's health plan from a list of those participating in the database. The physician can then search for a drug by its generic or brand name. Results will include any plan restrictions on the drug's usage, such as quantity or age limits, and will specify whether pre-authorization is needed or if the drug is designated as part of a step therapy. If the health plan does not cover the drug, the physician can "quickly and easily" search the database for alternative drugs in the same treatment class, according to CAQH. Physicians also can search the database by the organ systems that drugs are used to treat, or by therapeutic class. CAQH may eventually develop a version of Formulary DataSource that can be accessed from a handheld computer. CAQH is a not-for-profit alliance of 27 large health insurers, including U.S. Healthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and CIGNA HealthCare (CAQH release, 7/12). For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat.org, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.