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Health Action Council Partnership Creates Game-changing PBM Program

Cleveland, OH (March 21, 2016) – A unique collaboration of Health Action Council, a 501(c)(6) employer coalition, and the Sourcing Alliance, a public-sector group purchasing organization, is allowing public-sector entities and educational institutions nationwide to participate in Health Action Council’s pharmacy benefit management (PBM) program without having to conduct their own time-consuming and expensive public-sector bidding process. Public sector entities, along with their private-sector counterparts, can now quickly and efficiently leverage the $600 million buying power of Health Action Council’s private and public-sector employer members to achieve better pricing, and benefit from its strong PBM program contract terms and conditions.

Health Action Council, which represents almost 200 mid and large-size employers, awarded contracts in February to CVS/caremark and OptumRx for pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services, thus offering its members a choice of endorsed PBM vendors. The four-month-long process, conducted in full compliance with public-sector procurement guidelines, achieved more favorable pricing and significantly improved contract terms for Health Action Council public and private-sector members.

“This very positive outcome was the result of our membership leveraging their collective purchasing power to negotiate better unit costs and more favorable terms and conditions,” said Patty Starr, Executive Director of Health Action Council. “We are pleased that we used a publicly procured RFP process to deliver greater value to all members – as well as public-sector entities across the country – while maintaining employer individuality and flexibility to create the best plan design for their employees.”

“We know that employers want to stay in the benefits game, but want to conduct business differently,” said Don Bell, Chair of the Health Action Council Board of Directors. “The recently concluded PBM process is an example of how we are driving new and different conversations resulting in best-in-class outcomes for a broad spectrum of employers.”

As the PBM program manager, Health Action Council continues to push best practices in order to better serve its employer members and their employees. This includes conducting annual audits of the PBM plans, monitoring ongoing customer service for members to ensure the PBMs are fulfilling their service obligations, ensuring employee satisfaction surveys are conducted, providing industry education and following up with members on outstanding administrative issues.

Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization representing mid and large-size employers that enhances human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents and retirees. Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders - health plans, physicians, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry - to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.

Sourcing Alliance is a collaboration of local, regional and national group purchasing organizations (GPOs). It establishes and manages master contracts with suppliers for a broad range of products and services. Its members are eligible to purchase products and services through these master contracts without having to conduct their own procurement processes. As a result of its members’ combined buying power and its procurement expertise, these master contracts feature more aggressive pricing and better terms and conditions than its members can achieve on their own.

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