MADISON, WI (Feb. 15, 2022) ─ Cheryl DeMars, CEO of The Alliance, testified to state Senators at a Jan. 20 hearing on Senate Bill 753 and its potential effects on employers.
SB 753 would eliminate “white-bagging,” a tactic resourceful employers use to proactively control health care costs by reducing the price of specialty medications. Hospital-owned pharmacies frequently mark-up their drug prices an average of 200-400% before administering them to patients. White bagging is where payors buy the drugs directly from the manufacturer, bypassing the hospital-owned pharmacy, effectively helping patients receive the same drug at a lower price.
“Passing AB718/SB 753 will limit market competition, making important drugs even less affordable. This is not a step that Wisconsin lawmakers should take with more and more life-changing and life-saving medications coming to the market,” said DeMars. “We need to find ways to help employers afford these medications. Instead, this bill will do just the opposite.”
DeMars also referenced RAND Corporation’s Hospital Price Transparency Study, which found that employers are paying 291% more than what Medicare pays for the same services at the same providers. “We are twentieth in the country in terms of hospital prices, and we pay the third highest physician prices,” she said. “The high prices we pay erode our ability to grow our businesses and improve wages and benefits for our employers.”
You can review the entire transcript of the Senate meeting by visiting Wisconsin.gov’s website.
The Alliance serves as the voice for self-funded employers who want more control over their health care costs. They provide transparent, creative approaches to network and benefit plan design to unlock savings where others can’t – or won’t – using Smarter Networks℠ and sophisticated data mining and analysis. The Alliance remains a trusted, objective partner for its 300+ employers and their brokers who seek improved access to high-quality health care through a network of 34,000 health care providers and doctors across the Midwest.
To learn more about The Alliance, visit https://the-alliance.org/