Traditionally, insurance companies have judged an applicant's risk by gathering medical records from physicians' offices. But the new tools offer the advantage of being "electronic, fast and cheap," said Mark Franzen, managing director of Milliman IntelliScript, which provides consumers' personal drug profiles to insurers.
Ingenix, a Minnesota-based health information services company that had $1.3 billion in sales last year -- and Wisconsin-based rival Milliman -- say the drug profiles are an accurate, less expensive alternative to seeking physician records, which can take months and hundreds of dollars to obtain. They note that consumers authorize the data release and that the services can save insurance companies millions of dollars and benefit consumers anxious for a decision.
"Some insurers can make a decision in the same day, or right on the spot," Franzen said. "That's the real 'value-add.' "
Ingenix and Milliman create the profiles by plumbing rich databases of prescription drug histories kept by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which help insurers process drug claims.
Prescription Data Used To Assess Consumers
Washington Post, August 4, 2008; Page A01
At what point will doctors and patients finally get together and tell these companies to go #^**& themselves?