Posted: July 24, 2020
Late last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBST) announced that the buy and bill acquisition system for provider-administered drugs would no longer be available for a large number of its covered lives. The buy and bill system would be replaced with a white-bagging system utilizing BCBST’s preferred specialty pharmacy network.
Due in part to CSRO’s efforts opposing the policy, implementation the policy was delayed until July 1st of 2020. As the new date of implementation approached, CSRO renewed efforts to prevent implementation of the new acquisition system. Since then, CSRO issued a number of press releases designed to raise awareness about the issues that the new acquisition system would create.
First, CSRO targeted the business community through a press release to the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, and letters to top employers in the state. The letters sought to explain how mandatory white bagging would impede patient access for employees. It may be the case that human resource and benefits administrators did not fully understand the downstream effects of the policy when selecting benefits.
CSRO followed this up by publicizing a real-world example illustrating how the policy would cause major issues with access to care for patients using provider-administered drugs.
Despite these efforts BCBST steamed ahead with implementation of the new policy, which went into effect on July 1st as scheduled. Many of the negative impacts predicted by CSRO will only be made apparent after implementation of the new policy. As such, CSRO has will continue monitoring the situation in Tennessee, and take the opportunity to re-address the situation as circumstances on the ground develop.
CSRO encourages rheumatologists in Tennessee experiencing issues with the new acquisition system to contact CSRO by emailing email@example.com.