HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Tennessee may have the highest drug utilization rate in the country, but initiatives within the state are working to push the state off this top spot. According to the latest Tennessee Health Plan Analysis, the state's Department of Health, commercial insurers and TennCare, the state's Medicaid program, are among those working to change that dubious distinction.
"Tennessee has demographic and cultural factors working against it in its fight to curb unnecessary pharmacy usage," states Don Mooradian, market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "However, generic usage and new initiatives are likely to begin to turn the tide."
With a generic utilization rate of 63.6 percent, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is clearly in the generic movement and could see its utilization increase even more with several blockbuster brand-name drugs going off patent. Similarly, TennCare's use of generic drugs has increased from 52-54 percent range up to approximately 73 percent.
The Physician Prescribing Practice Task Force has also been established by the state's Department of Health to study prescribing habits of Tennessee physicians and develop initiatives and tools to reverse the drug utilization trend. Initiatives include the development of a controlled substance monitoring database, a Web-based educational program on prescribing practices and the encouragement of electronic medical records.
About Health Plan Analysis
Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing healthcare businesses to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Health Plan Analysis, which provides analysis and research on managed care throughout the United States. The first report analyzed the Tennessee market and to mark this occasion, we interviewed Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen on the TennCare program and his thoughts surrounding initiatives in other states to provide universal healthcare. To listen to an excerpt of this interview, log onto our website at www.healthleaders-interstudy.com.
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