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Highmark Inc. introduces clinical case management pharmacists to its care team

Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 14, 2016) — For those with multiple health issues, managing prescription medications can be a complex process, but a new service introduced by Highmark Inc. can help its members ensure the safety and effectiveness of their medications.

With the new service, Highmark Inc. has added Clinical Case Management Pharmacists to its existing Care Management Teams, which include nurse case managers and health coaches, as well as behavioral health and social services.

Care Management Teams help members stay on track with health and wellness, including medication adherence, eating right, exercising appropriately, and managing chronic illnesses like diabetes and asthma.

The pharmacists will work with the team to manage pharmacy-specific member issues, evaluating individual cases and advising the team on the safest, most effective therapies. The Clinical Case Management Pharmacists will also address such issues as drug interactions, patient noncompliance with a medication, misuse of a medication, or to help address severe side effects a member may be experiencing.

Often, the pharmacist will contact the patient's physician to discuss a particular medication issue or a drug interaction.

And in some cases, the pharmacists will directly provide counseling to the patient on side effects, more effective use of medications, drug administration techniques, managing multiple medications, interactions and possible duplications. They will also advise patients on how to save money on their prescription drugs through the use of formulary alternatives, patient assistance programs and mail order opportunities.

The pharmacists can also help patients better understand proper storage and handling of medications, and can answer questions about pharmacy and formulary policies and the appeals process.

"Every day, preventable medication errors cause at least one death, and every year, they result in injury to approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. In fact, it is the third leading cause of death in the United States," said Ryan Cox, Highmark Inc. Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services. "That's why it was so important for Highmark Inc. to add Clinical Case Management Pharmacists to its Care Management Teams. We want our members to get the same comprehensive, individualized care and personal attention they receive relative to their medical care on matters related to their prescription drugs."

According to Cox, the Clinical Case Management Pharmacists are like a "concierge service" to help the care team and patients navigate the complexities of multiple health issues.

"It's just one more way for us to serve our members proactively, and also for members to get important information and answers to questions they need to successfully manage their health," he said.

Highmark members who are interested in finding out more information on care management programs are encouraged to call the Member Services number on the back of their ID cards.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and comprise the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.2 million members and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact:
Aaron Billger
Highmark Health
412-544-7826
aaron.billger@highmarkhealth.org