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September 12, 2014 – SOUTHFIELD, Michigan – Hydrocodone Combination Products (HCPs) (Vicodin®, Lorcet®, Norco®, etc.)

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has officially ruled that all hydrocodone combination products be rescheduled as Schedule 2 controlled substances. This rule is effective October 6, 2014 and aims to minimize the misuse of these drugs.

Drugs are classified into five distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. As the drug schedule changes -- Schedule 2, Schedule 3, etc., so does the abuse potential -- Schedule 5 drugs represent the least potential for abuse.

HCPs will be reclassified from Schedule 3 to a more-restrictive Schedule 2 category. Thus, traditional HCP prescriptions cannot be faxed, phoned in, or refilled at any retail or mail order pharmacy.

This rule was passed as a federal law and therefore affects everyone regardless of diagnosis, provider, or current prescription for a hydrocodone combination product.

Hydrocodone Combination Products*

  • HYDROCOD/APAP 10/325MG TABLETS
  • HYDROCOD/APAP 7.5-325 TABLETS
  • HYDROCOD/APAP 7.5-325MG SOLUTION
  • HYDROCOD/APAP 7.5/325MG TABLETS
  • HYDROCOD/HOMATROP 5/1.5MG TABLETS
  • HYDROCOD/IBUPROFEN 5-200MG TABLETS
  • HYDROCOD/IBUPROFEN 7.5/200MG TABLETS
  • HYDROMET (HYDROCODONE/HOMATROPINE)5/1.5MG SYRUP
  • LORTAB 10-300MG/15ML ORAL ELIXIR
  • LORTAB 10-325MG TABLETS
  • NORCO 10-325MG TABLETS
  • NORCO 5/325MG TABLETS
  • NORCO 7.5/325 TABLETS
  • REPREXAIN 10-200MG TABLETS
  • VICODIN 5-300MG TABLETS
  • VICODIN ES 7.5-300MG TABLETS
  • VICODIN HP 10-300MG TABLETS
  • VICOPROFEN 7.5MG/200MG TABLETS
  • XODOL 10-300MG TABLETS

*This list is intended as a general reference and is not a comprehensive listing of all HCPs

We are strongly encouraging members who are currently being prescribed a hydrocodone combination product to notify their physician to discuss any changes that may affect them.

If you have any questions regarding this update, please feel free to contact the EHIM Pharmacy Call Center at 800-311-3446

April 14, 2014 – SOUTHFIELD, Michigan – In 2013, thousands of people across the United States disposed of 324 tons of expired and unwanted medications at more than 5,000 Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)-sponsored National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sites. Officials hope even more people participate in this year’s event, scheduled for April 26, 2014.

At EHIM, we are committed to educating our employer groups, members, and the general public about the risks of expired or unwanted prescription medication and encourage everyone to participate, said Kevin H. Fantich, an EHIM pharmacist.

“Many homes end up with unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications,” he said. “Old prescriptions left in medicine cabinets or elsewhere in the home can often be an easy source for those who would like to abuse prescription medications.”

Dr. Fantich also warned that large quantities of expired or unwanted medication may lead to confusion among people already taking a large number of medications. Disposing expired medication can also help prevent accidental ingestion by children and pets, he said.

For more information, visit the DEA National Take-Back Initiative website, or search for the nearest collection site where unused or expired medications can be properly disposed of on April 26.

About EHIM Inc.

EHIM is an innovative solution to containing costs in healthcare. Operating as a third party administrator, pharmacy benefit manager and consultant, EHIM is true to what the name stands for: custom-designed programs tailored to the education and overall Employee Health Insurance Management. Founded in 1987, EHIM is a certified WBENC woman-owned business servicing members throughout the country. For more information, visit www.ehimrx.com or call 248.948.9900.

October 30, 2013 – SOUTHFIELD, Michigan – For more than two decades, EHIM has remained committed to offering innovative healthcare solutions to organizations and businesses across the United States. Despite the speculation of what 2015 will bring, EHIM will continue to offer customized pharmacy programs that provide hands on clinical management which result in significant cost savings to our clients. Our EHIM Cares program has saved our clients over $3M alone since its inception in 2011.

In spite of the confusion and what is being communicated by many insurance carriers on their stance of carve-out programs, EHIM’s self funded pharmacy program continues to be a viable healthcare option for employer groups.

We encourage all clients to take advantage of the transitional rules that apply in 2014 with respect to carve out. In addition to the financial savings that can be achieved with a self funded pharmacy benefit, there are other benefits to a client and their members with pharmacy carve out:

  • In 2014, as EHIM understands under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) clarification FAQs that were issued in February 2013, plan sponsors are not required to implement a maximum out of pocket accumulator for the pharmacy program, if the pharmacy benefits are administered by a separate vendor than your medical benefits and the group does not currently have a maximum out of pocket in place.
  • With a self funded prescription benefit program, groups are generally not obligated to meet the “metal” plans nor are they mandated to include all “essential” health benefits.
  • The new “insurance tax” under the ACA is NOT assessed on self funded benefits. This “insurance tax” will only be assessed to fully insured plans and is estimated to be between 2% - 4% of the premium.
  • With a prescription carve out, it provides the client two independent sets of data to analyze their overall health care package and compare and contrast the utilization trends and patterns reported by each for verification and validation of one another.

The client can consolidate and offer one prescription benefit to all employees, regardless of the medical program. With a carve out, the medical benefit does not have to dictate the prescription coverage that is provided.

As always, EHIM encourages all clients to consult with their benefit advisors on how various aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may impact healthcare offerings. EHIM is here to support and work with the agents and their clients regarding the different healthcare changes and mandates taking effect over the course of the next couple of years. We are dedicated to providing and designing new long-term healthcare solutions for our clients that will increase cost savings as well as the overall health and wellbeing of our members.

Company Promotes Self-Funded as Viable Healthcare Option for Employer Groups

BREAKING NEWS:

U.S. Treasury officials announced late yesterday that employers will not be required to provide health insurance to their full-time employees working an average of 30 or more hours a week until 2015. Employers who do not provide coverage before the extended deadline will not be subject to penalties under the employer shared responsibility provisions.

Requirements that employers and insurance carriers notify the IRS regarding who is covered under their plans are similarly delayed.

Treasury officials announced that guidance explaining the delayed effective date will be issued within the coming week. The individual mandate and other key provisions of the Act are not impacted by this delay and are expected to roll out in accordance with existing time schedules.

EHIM will continue to keep clients informed of new developments and the ramifications of these changes.

Healthcare Reform Changes

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SIIA National Conference and Expo

October 5-7, 2014
Phoenix, AZ
Booth #800