Every month is Health Literacy Month. Not just October.


Why Prime cares about the member experience

Nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using the everyday health information they find in health care facilities, retail outlets, media, and communities.1, 2, 3, 4 And strong data connects limited health literacy with worse health outcomes and higher health care costs.1

Through our unique connection with you, Prime has, on average, almost a dozen interactions with members every year.10 We use these touch points to help members understand their health and their benefits. Increasing member understanding can help lower overall cost of care.1

What the research shows

Reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) both concluded that limited health literacy is negatively associated with the use of preventive services (e.g., mammograms or flu shots), management of chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and HIV/AIDS), and self-reported health. Researchers also found an association between limited health literacy and an increase in preventable hospital visits and admissions.1-5  Additional studies have linked limited health literacy to misunderstanding instructions about prescription medication, medication errors, poor comprehension of nutrition labels, and mortality.6-9

Blue Cross and Prime are passionate about helping people attain the best health possible at the lowest cost. From day one, Prime was built to be an advocate for your employees. This is reflected in Prime's efforts to provide a superior customer experience and make it easy for employees to work with us. Building and growing relationships makes it easier for people to understand their medicines and conditions. This understanding improves adherence. And adherence improves health outcomes. And adherence lowers the cost of care.

Actions, not words: Employees average about 12 touch points with a PBM in one year.10 With every contact, Prime works to help them understand their medicines, their conditions, and the choices they have to make it all easier.

Let’s Be Clear: Prime has committed to using plain language, whether it’s spoken or written. Prime strives to write communications to a 5th grade level. We don’t use jargon or acronyms. For example: 

  • Instead of "hypertension,." you'll read "high blood pressure."
  • Instead of "subsequent to," you'll read "after."
  • Instead of  "reimburse," you'll read "pay."

You can find many examples and recognition of Prime’s commitment:

  • Award-winning support: Prime received World Class Contact Center Certification for its Omaha and Albuquerque contact centers from  the Service Quality Management Group,  And we were awarded the Contact Center Service Quality Excellence Award, for both Health Care Industry and Pharmacy Customer Service.11 (The SQM annual Awards of Excellence Program is one of the most prestigious call center awards programs in North America.)

  • We speak your language: Prime has bilingual customer service agents, and uses translation services and assistive technology.

  • Medicare Part D satisfaction: Almost 9 in 10 Prime members are very likely or likely to remain enrolled in their current Medicare Part D plan.12

  • PrimeMail satisfaction: Over 8 in 10 members are satisfied/very satisfied with their recent experience. PrimeMail received “very satisfied” scores on ten key member service metrics, exceeding all other PBMs.13

  • Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy™ satisfaction: Ranks 17 percentage points higher than competitors for “very satisfied” members. Overall member satisfaction with us has stayed over 91 percent for the past eight quarters.  97 percent of members are satisfied/very satisfied with customer care coordinators.14

It’s what we say, how we say it, and where we say it: Prime works hard to meet employees on their terms — like the responsive design on MyPrime.com. We’re building capabilities to offer employees more choice – to interact with us the way they choose – by mail, email, phone or text.

Health literacy is more than a trendy topic. We take our relationship with your employees seriously. Being easy to understand is a key part of Prime’s brand. Through member outreach and analytics, we keep getting better at it. 


1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy. Washington, DC: Author.

2. Nielsen-Bohlman, L., Panzer, A. M., & Kindig, D. A. (Eds.). (2004). Health literacy: A prescription to end confusion. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

3. Kutner, M., Greenberg, E., Jin, Y., & Paulsen, C. (2006). The health literacy of America’s adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NCES 2006-483). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.

4. Rudd, R. E., Anderson, J. E., Oppenheimer, S., & Nath, C. (2007). Health literacy: An update of public health and medical literature. In J. P. Comings, B. Garner, & C. Smith. (Eds.), Review of adult learning and literacy (vol. 7) (pp 175–204). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

5. Berkman, N. D., DeWalt, D. A., Pignone, M. P., Sheridan, S. L., Lohr, K. N., Lux, L., et al. (2004). Literacy and health outcomes (AHRQ Publication No. 04-E007-2). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

6. Davis, T. C., Wolf, M. S., Bass, P. F. III, Thompson, J. A., Tilson, H. H., Neuberger, M., et al. (2006). Literacy and misunderstanding prescription drug labels. Annals of Internal Medicine, 145(12), 887–894.

7. Rothman, R. L., Housam, R., Weiss, H., Davis, D., Gregory, R., Gebretsadik, T., et al. (2006). Patient understanding of food labels: The role of literacy and numeracy. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31(5), 391–398.

8. Wolf, M. S., Davis, T. S., Tilson, H. H., Bass, P. F., & Parker, R. M. (2006). Misunderstanding of prescription drug warning labels among patients with low literacy. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 63, 1048–1055.

9. Baker, D. W., Wolf, M. S., Feinglass, J., & Thompson, J. A. (2008). Health literacy, cognitive abilities, and mortality among elderly persons. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 23(6), 723–726.

10. 2012 Aveus, LLC. All rights reserved.

11. Service Quality Management Group (SQM) Awards: Accessed at: http://www.primetherapeutics.com/Files/Press_Release_SQM_Awards_FINAL.pdf

12. 2014 Prime internal data.

13 PrimeMail and Prime Specialty Pharmacy member satisfaction survey (3Q2014).

14 Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy member satisfactions study (2015).


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