Why I don’t like integration

Let me start by clarifying — I can’t stand “integration,” the actual word. 

Even though we have a solid claim to its meaning. “Integration” gets thrown around a lot, to the point of being invisible. When two departments within a company get in the same room, they’re “integrating.” Solving any problem seems to be an “integrated solution.” Hot dogs are now integrated with buns. 

So, let’s take a look at the word, and remember what’s actually important about it when it comes to our business.  

We were formed from non-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans. And we are owned by non-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans. This gives Prime Therapeutics (Prime) more than a great story. It gives us the connection that makes an integrated model possible. At Prime, integration is more than a buzzword. It’s what we are, right down to our DNA. 

Like it or not, it’s still the best word to describe what we are (not just what we do). And there are many reasons integration makes us better. 

Here are three:

1.  Increased savings

Our prescription drug cost is eight percent lower than the competition.1 

2.  Ease of administration

Our record shows how clients benefit from streamlined eligibility and benefit processing, with holistic reporting from one account team:

  • Highest in employer group likelihood to recommend three years in a row.2
  • Very satisfied scores 17 percentage points higher than the competition.3
  • 96 percent overall satisfaction with Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy™.4 

3.  Improved outcomes

Our integrated approach has demonstrated better outcomes with 9 percent fewer hospitalizations and 4 percent fewer emergency room visits, resulting in healthier employees and lower costs by about $330 per member per year (PMPY).5

Bottom line: our integrated model helps to keep it simple.   
Our health plan mindset helps keep costs low by keeping members healthy. And our flexible solutions, grounded in research and expertise, brings it all together for our clients and members. 

So, we can argue about how the word is used and abused everywhere. What’s not up for debate is the fact that Prime has been integrated from day one.   

But maybe you have a better word for it? 

Kevin Krakowski
Vice President and General Manager – Employer Market 


1. Prime Therapeutics (2009-2014). 2009-2014 Pharmacy Benchmark Study.
2. Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute Employer Group Satisfaction survey for three years in a row (2015).
3. Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy vs. others total cost of care study (2014)
4. Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy member satisfactions study (1Q2015)
5. Chattwal J, Kanwal F, Roberts MS, Dunn MA. Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Impact of Hepatitis C Virus Treatment with Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir in the United States. Ann Intern Med 2015.

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