[Special Edition]: Insurers’ “White Bagging” Drug Policy Threatens Patient Safety

Increases in consolidation and alignment between commercial health plans and pharmacy benefit managers have resulted in a series of business practices designed to steer patients to insurer-affiliated pharmacies and away from patients’ longstanding providers to the detriment of patient care. Under new policies being implemented by a number of large commercial insurance companies, they steer patients to third-party specialty pharmacies – often owned by the same parent company as the insurer – to acquire medication necessary for clinician-administered treatments, such as chemo infusions. Commonly referred to as “white bagging,” this practice raises significant patient safety issues, results in frequent delays in care and shifts tremendous administrative burden to hospitals to reconcile these policies on behalf of their patients. To examine this concerning trend, we hear from Mark Howell, AHA’s director of policy and patient safety, and Michelle Millerick AHA’s senior associate director of health insurance coverage policy.


 

Related Resources

Advancing Health Podcast
Dr. Leon D. Caldwell, Senior Director, Health Equity Strategies and Innovation, in the Institute of Diversity and Health Equity at the AHA, sits down with Dr.…
AHA Center for Health Innovation Market Scan
Roundtrip’s continuing development can be traced in part to AWS’ Health Equity Initiative, a three-year $40 million commitment to help its health care…
Webinar Recordings
Member
On May 25, 2022 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, AHA hosted a webinar to review key provisions in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ fiscal year 2023…
Letter/Comment
Public
The AHA urges the FTC to increase scrutiny on insurer-mandated white bagging policies, as well as the impact of PBM-negotiated rebates and other business…
AHA Center for Health Innovation Market Scan
A new study indicates that social factors, when built into sepsis readmission models, can help predict which patients are at risk of an unplanned readmission…
Letter/Comment
On behalf of nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, clinical partners, and the 43,000 health care leaders who…