Sounds Crazy but… Distributing Free Prescription Discount Cards to Your Patients Can Build Goodwill and Brand Loyalty

by Bob Healy

Consumers, Medical Practices, Health Systems and Pharmacies Can Benefit

Think about it. When was the last time that you went to a doctor or hospital and they gave you something for free? What would you think if they provided you with an opportunity to reduce your healthcare costs? Chances are you’d have a pretty positive feeling about them.

Medical practices and health systems can generate substantial goodwill and loyalty by distributing free branded prescription discount cards to their patients as well as to those that they touch in their service area through corporate, community and congregational outreach initiatives and educational presentations. Every time a consumer uses your branded discount card and realizes a prescription savings, it will continue to reinforce in their mind the benefit of having you as their healthcare provider.

There are over 200 prescription discount card providers in the market, all of which are geared to helping the uninsured save money on their prescription medications. One company has taken it several steps further, providing savings to not only those that are uninsured but also to those that are underinsured with high deductibles, limitations or exclusions as well as to those with prescription drug coverage and a generic co-pay of $10.00 or more.

Free For All, Inc. launched its Equalizer Program in 2011 to assist consumers being disadvantaged by their insurance programs. The Equalizer got its name because it acts as a gatekeeper for all pharmacy transactions. This “free for all” RxCut Equalizer card guarantees that card users receive the lowest price possible on their prescriptions. Whether it’s their insurance co-payment, the pharmacy retail price, or the RxCut discounted price, card users will always pay the lowest price.

The Equalizer Program was designed to stop consumers from being charged their insurance co-pay when the retail price of the medication is actually lower. Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are third party administrators of prescription drug claims in the United States. They develop preferred drug lists for their clients and negotiate discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers. PBMs however are publicly traded entities interested primarily in shareholder value. As a consequence they hold back a large portion of the rebates and pass through the higher costs to consumers and insured groups, resulting in the inflated pricing of prescriptions. Two PBMs control over 80% of the 3.6 billion prescriptions processed annually.

Today, more than 210 million Americans receive prescription drug benefits managed by PBMs. Quite often those consumers are charged a co-payment for a generic medication that is higher than the pharmacy’s retail price and the RxCut discounted price. In fact the RxCut price on 19 of the 25 most frequently prescribed generic medications is lower than an insurance co-pay of $10.00.

The free RxCut card offers discounts up to 75% on prescriptions versus retail prices. The card is accepted at over 54,000 pharmacies in the United States and Puerto Rico, including major drug chains, supermarkets, box stores and 98% of all independently owned pharmacies. There is no enrollment or activation required, no expiration date and no personal information is collected so multiple family members can use the same card. (The card can also provide substantial discounts on all pet medications). When the RxCut card is added to an individual’s pharmacy profile, they will receive the lowest prescription price whether it is their co-pay, the retail price or the RxCut discounted price.

Savings with the card can be substantial. A health system in New Jersey distributes branded RxCut discount cards to their patients at discharge from the ER. A review of 4,500 pharmacy transactions using the RxCut card over a two month period showed a savings to their patients of over $86,000, representing an average savings per script of $19.37. A free discount card for your patients that yields tangible savings like this will build brand loyalty to your practice or system.

The only financial exposure to a medical practice or hospital system interested in distributing RxCut prescription discount cards is the cost of the actual branded cards. Five thousand cards can be purchased for $50.00. On a monthly basis, reports can be generated detailing all pharmacy transactions using the RxCut cards that have been distributed with your unique Rx Group number. The report, which does not include any personal information, indicates the date the script was filled, drug name, generic vs. brand, quantity, retail price, price paid by the RxCut member, member dollar savings, member % savings and the pharmacy name and address where the script was filled.

While it may seem counterintuitive, retail pharmacies in a health system as well as pharmacies within the community can also realize a benefit with the RxCut discount card for their consumers with prescription coverage. Every time the RxCut card is used to equalize the insurance co-payment and when the RxCut price is lower than the co-pay, both the consumer and pharmacy win i.e. the consumer saves money which builds loyalty towards the pharmacy and the pharmacy nets more revenue because RxCut pays a much higher dispensing fee than the PBMs and also passes through all negotiated rebates to them.

To learn more about the RxCut card, to locate participating pharmacies or to view RxCut prescription discount pricing, visit www.therxsavingssite.com/MNC00369

 

This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.

Bob Healy, Managing Partner of MD Practice Marketing, and and author of “You Need To Have A Plan Before You Can Work The Plan”, a guide to developing a medical practice marketing plan, has over twenty-five years of healthcare experience helping physician practices to implement programs to grow revenue, referrals and new patient consults.

For assistance in conducting an internal marketing assessment, developing a marketing plan or implementing the plan, contact Bob at mdstrategies@gmail.com or call 404-372-6624



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