FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. and SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) and Castlight Health, Inc. announce they will integrate their comparison pricing features and clinical messaging services together in a pilot program with mutual employer clients. Combining these services will provide patients with the first-ever complete view of the cost and quality of medical and prescription drug services.
Under this initiative, Castlight's directory of medical quality and cost information will be married with Medco's My Rx Choices®, a feature that allows members to compare prescription drug costs, both brand and generics, and by distribution channels – mail service or retail pharmacy. Via Castlight's web portal, consumers will be able to examine the cost and quality of healthcare services and medicines together with clinically validated education and recommendations for specific conditions such as diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular disease.
"Employers have long wanted to help their employees be better healthcare consumers – to enable planning for medical and pharmacy care based on quality and cost," said Dr. Giovanni Colella, CEO and co-founder of Castlight Health. "Consumers rarely know the quality they're receiving, nor the fees for treatment until they pay the bill. Information transparency is the way to empower patients to get better care at a lower cost. Medco's My Rx Choices completes the picture by helping patients save money on medicines and stay safe with its alert features to prevent adverse drug events. By providing a continuum of care across medical and pharmacy, consumers can make smarter choices that balance quality and cost."
"Castlight's approach to revealing quality and price data is closely aligned with our healthcare philosophy," added Tracy Grunsfeld, Medco Vice President of New Markets. "We have always viewed information technology as a tool to make medicine smarter – leading to better health outcomes at a much lower cost. This pilot program complements our current client offerings and will enable members to reap the rewards of both medical and pharmacy information that work in conjunction with one another."
The integrated portal will also highlight Medco gaps-in-care alerts, which message members about late refills and/or omissions of essential therapies, along with other Medco clinical alerts and Castlight-identified medical quality and savings opportunities.
"Exposing people to important information about their health helps them manage their condition to achieve better overall outcomes," continued Grunsfeld. "The integration of Medco clinical alerts on the Castlight portal is an ideal complement to Castlight's quality of care information and condition-specific education for members, which is based on their unique health status."
The program could have a significant impact for consumers bearing an increasing share of their healthcare costs through higher deductibles and cost sharing. The use of CDHPs (consumer-directed health plans) has increased in recent years with 17 percent of workers getting this form of coverage in 2011, an increase from 8 percent in 2009, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's Employer Health Benefits 2011 Annual Survey. Costs have generally shifted increasingly to employees, since the number of workers enrolled in a plan with a general annual deductible of $1,000 or more for single coverage has increased to 31 percent in 2011 from 10 percent in 2006.
"Healthcare transparency is increasingly important to employers and their employees," Colella said. "Healthcare cost and quality are seldom related, and Castlight is instrumental to enable employees to plan, shop, and receive better care at lower cost."
After the pilot period, Medco and Castlight Health anticipate introducing the integrated portal to mutual employer customers in the next plan year.
About Castlight Health
Castlight Health enables employers, their employees, and health plans to take control of healthcare costs and improve care. Named #1 on The Wall Street Journal's list of "The Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies" for 2011 and one of Dow Jones' 50 Most Investment-Worthy Technology Start-Ups, Castlight Health helps the country's self-insured employers and health plans empower consumers to shop for healthcare. Castlight Health is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by prominent investors including Venrock, Oak Investment Partners, Maverick Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Wellcome Trust, Cleveland Clinic, and U.S. Venture Partners. For more information, please visit our web site at http://www.castlighthealth.com or call (888) 227-8544.
Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world's most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for more than 65 million members.
With more than 20,000 employees dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2010 revenues of $66 billion, Medco ranks 34th on the Fortune 500 list and is named among the world's most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies.
For more information, go to www.medcohealth.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.