Our Interactive calculator demonstrates the healthcare and work-loss costs to your organization due to opiod abuse


Annual Healthcare Cost To Employer (Abuser)


Excess Healthcare Cost of an Abuser vs Non-Abuser


Annual In-direct Work-Loss Costs


**Calculations are based upon the national average of abusers per 10,000 employees. Update Source: Analysis Group, Inc, (pg. 441)

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UnitedHealth buys DaVita’s doctor groups for $4.9 billion

(Bloomberg) — UnitedHealth Group Inc. will buy DaVita Inc.’s physician network business for $4.9 billion, adding hundreds of medical clinics to the biggest U.S. health insurer’s growing business of providing direct medical care.

The all-cash takeover will bulk up UnitedHealth’s front-line business called OptumCare, allowing it to take more control over how its insurance dollars are spent. The deal comes less than a week after CVS Health Corp. agreed to buy insurer Aetna Inc. for $67.5 billion, which will team the insurance company with CVS’s pharmacies and in-store clinics.

“Combining DaVita Medical Group and Optum advances our shared goal of supporting physicians in delivering exceptional patient care in innovative and efficient ways,” Larry Renfro, chief executive officer of Optum, said in a statement Wednesday.

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CVS/Aetna deal likely won’t improve prescription drug prices

CVS Health’s bid to buy insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion likely won’t improve the high prescription drug costs facing employers and workers, say healthcare experts familiar with the pharmacy benefit management industry.

The deal is more likely “an information move,” says Brian Tolbert, benefits practice leader for Bernard Health in Nashville, Tenn., who is concerned it would give Aetna an unprecedented view into the prescription histories of CVS customers.

“It will allow them to … skim the cream and go after a healthy membership,” he says, adding that the temptation to market directly to healthy customers would be irresistible.

Additionally, Linda Cahn, founder of Pharmacy Benefit Consultants in Morristown, N.J., feels the proposed merger will do little to address the skyrocketing price of prescription medications. She takes issue with CVS Caremark, the company’s PBM arm, which, like other PBMs, provides little transparency in what it pays for drugs or how it handles rebates from manufacturers, the consultant says.

CVS Health did not respond to a request for comment by publication time. Cahn says she spent many years litigating with PBMs and the companies zealously guarded their purchase arrangements with drug manufacturers.

In fact, benefits consultant Patricia Sorowich, president of PBIRx in Milford, Conn., predicts the proposed deal could raise drug prices. “If you’re an Aetna member, you can expect they’ll push you to CVS and you’ll pay more money for prescriptions.” She also predicts employers may face higher premiums for that reason.

A long road ahead

Tolbert believes the deal will have a hard time passing the anti-trust gatekeepers at the Department of Justice. He expects other insurance carriers and PBMs will start screaming soon in Washington to nix the proposed deal.

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