NaviNet, a Web-based provider of real-time health messaging systems, has launched a new mobile platform called Mobile Connect for PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) to allow companies such as CVS Caremark and Medco to communicate vital pharmaceutical information to doctors and retail and mail-order pharmacies.
It allows doctors to check on a patient's insurance plan during an office visit to see which drugs may be suitable according to the patient's plan. Doctors can then obtain the necessary prior authorizations from the PBM and send e-prescriptions to pharmacies.
About 80 percent of physicians are now using smartphones, and mobile platforms such as NaviNet's allow doctors to access pharmaceutical information while with the patient in the exam room.
Doctors will be able to use Mobile Connect to receive clinical alerts on how well patients are adhering to their medication schedules based on refill data from the drug insurance plan. This information will help them make better decisions on care, according to NaviNet.
Announced on June 15, Mobile Connect works with NaviNet Insurer's Connect Web-based multipayer portal to allow a practice's staff to communicate with health insurers electronically regarding medication or prior authorization. Previously this work was done on paper or by telephone, Scott Rybak, NaviNet's vice president of business development and partner strategy, told eWEEK.
With doctors and staff completing prior medication authorizations electronically, physicians will save time in their workflow and avoid later interruptions. Physicians can start on the process in Mobile Connect on their mobile device, and the office staff can complete it in the Web-based desktop version.
The communications platform eliminates a lot of the mailing, faxing and calling that occurs among health plans, providers and patients. The communications can be done online automatically.
This potential efficiency enhancement can also improve patient satisfaction by limiting their time at the pharmacy and on the phone with insurance company call centers, according to Rybak. In addition, the drug plan information in Mobile Connect will allow physicians to help patients keep drug costs down.
"The importance of the PBM in managing the health cost for the plan is pretty high," Dr. Michael Ross, NaviNet's chief medical officer, told eWEEK.
Prior authorizations are part of the routine of electronic e-prescribing, of which physician adoption has increased by 80 percent, Ross noted. During this process, patients can find out about copay amounts and medication coverage before heading to the pharmacy.
This discussion of which medication will work both financially and clinically for the patient should happen in the doctor's office rather than the pharmacy, Ross said.
By e-prescribing automatically, practices can save up to $15,700 per year per physician on operating costs, according to NaviNet.
In addition to e-prescribing, Mobile Connect allows users to access a patient's medication history as well as perform medication screenings for interactions and allergies.
Mobile Connect is available on the Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Windows devices.
When NaviNet acquired Prematics, a mobile health management company, in December, it was able to leverage Prematics' payer relationships with companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross and Humana, Rybak said.
The acquisition also brought the NaviNet platform further onto mobile devices. "We really needed a way to take that information off of the desktop and into the exam room," Ross said.