The New Future of Healthcare in Germany: Innovative Clinical Services Designed to Enhance Care, Reduce Costs for Sick Fund

Medco, BIG direkt gesund in agreement that could forge a new frontier in pharmacy-driven clinical care

Jun 25, 2010, 00:01 ET from Medco Health Solutions, Inc.

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., and BERLIN, June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medco Health Solutions and BIG direkt gesund today announced that they have executed an agreement for an innovative portfolio of advanced pharmacy-driven solutions, which upon expressed patient consent, is designed to leverage innovative technologies for improving patient outcomes, adherence, and lowering overall healthcare costs.  BIG direkt gesund, a German sick fund that provides health insurance coverage for about 400,000 beneficiaries nationwide, has become the inaugural client for Medco's Advanced Clinical Solutions (ACS) service offering.

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On Monday, Medco and Celesio announced Medco Celesio B.V., a 50/50 joint venture that will deliver ACS and other healthcare services to as many as 29 countries across Europe.  The joint venture will be formed as soon as regulatory approval is obtained from the German authorities.  Once the joint venture has attained operational status BIG will be serviced by Medco Celesio B.V.

"BIG direkt gesund prides itself on leading the German market with innovative approaches that are designed to efficiently address society's most pressing healthcare issues.  Advanced Clinical Solutions uses an efficient, wired system to better coordinate care -- leveraging technologies to develop analytical insights, identify clinical issues and reach out to patients to improve their health.  This transformational service will help BIG to significantly improve the standards of care while at the same time moderate costs for BIG and the members they serve," said David B. Snow Jr., Medco chairman and chief executive officer.

Said Frank Neumann, chief executive of BIG direkt gesund, "ACS will ensure we are making the most effective use of our resources to improve the health of our members – which is the only way to ensure healthcare costs are sustainable in the long term.  Analytical tools are a need in the German market, and Medco's ACS service offering fills this gap.  It is perfectly aligned with our innovative care model and will give us a competitive advantage in the marketplace."

The ACS services optimize advanced pharmacy to improve care for patients with chronic and complex conditions, whose treatment and related costs today in Germany drives more than 75 percent of the country's overall healthcare burden.

As part of the program, BIG direkt gesund will obtain expressed patient consent.  The ACS system will stratify the sick fund's population to identify patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes and pulmonary and cardiovascular disease in accordance with data privacy regulations.  These systems will then help to assess which patients may not be adhering to their physician's prescribed treatment and close the gaps in care.  

ACS services will then provide a broad range of support tools designed to improve patient adherence so that chronic and complex health conditions are stabilized – averting complications that often lead to deterioration in health status or even hospitalization, which, in addition to the human tragedy, adds to the growing financial burden associated with healthcare.

The modular and flexible clinical solutions enable the seamless integration of ACS with existing initiatives and programs by other suppliers.

Terms of the agreement between Medco and BIG direkt gesund are subject to customary approvals and were not disclosed.

About BIG direkt gesund

The first direct health insurance fund in Germany emerged from the Federal Guild of Hearing Aid Acousticians in 1996.  From the BIG headquarters in Dortmund, a team of 500 employees now provide 400,000 members throughout Germany with a professional and flexible service – a direct, 24-hour service.

About Medco

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world's most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for approximately 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 2009 revenues of nearly $60 billion, Medco ranks 35th on the Fortune 500 list and is named among the world's most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies. 

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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.