PBMs cost state, analysis says
Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have generated no savings for Illinois or patients since the state switched to a managed care model last April, according to a report released this week. "PBM middle men could be costing the state hundreds of millions or more in spread pricing," said Monique Whitney, executive director of Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency. The analysis by 3 Axis Advisors and commissioned by the Illinois Pharmaceutical Association found that the state's expansion of Medicaid managed care is costing the state millions of dollars while allowing PBMs, third-party administrators that manage prescription drug benefit programs, to profit at the expense of patients and pharmacists by charging a patient or insurance more than it pays the pharmacy. Fifteen pharmacies have closed in Illinois since the state switched to a managed care model. The report called for the state to conduct an audit to assess cost savings and investigate PBM pricing.
Cooking changes benefit health
A few, minor cooking and baking changes can result in major nutritional improvements, said Kristina Adams Smith, a registered dietitian and owner of Sliced Right Nutrition Services. Bake rather than fry chicken and pork chops, she advised. Use canola, olive or peanut oil instead of solid fats. Make macaroni and cheese with sharp, reduced-fat cheese and low-fat milk. Sweeten desserts with fruit puree or apple sauce instead of sugar. Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour in muffins. And opt for brown rice instead of white rice.