Friday, June 24, 2011

TRICARE Begins Home Delivery Education Initiative

FALLS CHURCH, VA – TRICARE beneficiaries who still get two or more maintenance prescriptions from a retail pharmacy should start checking their mailboxes. TRICARE Management Activity (TMA) and Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) are mailing out home delivery education "alert" letters to promote pharmacy home delivery.

The alerts focus on the convenience and lower cost of home delivery versus retail pharmacies, and include information on how to switch prescriptions over. The alerts also seek to alleviate possible concerns about home delivery by highlighting safety measures and 24/7 access to a pharmacist.

The alerts are targeted to TRICARE beneficiaries who purchase two or more maintenance medications for chronic conditions at a retail pharmacy. These beneficiaries stand to benefit most from switching over to home delivery. The education alerts will be mailed starting in July.

"Providing service members and their families with an affordable, quality prescription drug benefit is a vital part of TRICARE's mission," said TRICARE Deputy Director Rear Adm. Christine Hunter. "When beneficiaries choose home delivery, they are using their benefit wisely."

Switching from retail pharmacy to home delivery spares beneficiaries the inconvenience of picking their prescriptions up from the pharmacy and saves them 66 percent per prescription. Home delivery is also cheaper for TRICARE. Beneficiaries switching from retail to home delivery saved the Department of Defense $30 million in 2010.

TRICARE and ESI are engaged in an aggressive campaign to promote home delivery with great success. Growth in retail pharmacy prescriptions covered by TRICARE is only 3.4 percent in 2011, down from the historical average of 5.2 percent. Home delivery prescriptions have grown 9.8 percent in 2011, almost double the historical 5.8 percent rate.

"The more TRICARE beneficiaries learn about pharmacy home delivery, the more they take advantage of its benefits," Hunter said. "The alerts are the next step in spreading the word."

For more information about home delivery, visit www.tricare.mil/homedelivery. To sign up for home delivery beneficiaries should go to ESI’s website, www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE or call the TRICARE Member Choice Center at 877-262-3390.