Our publications are packed with info on industry and health trends, benefits plan tips and other (cool) GSC news. Take a look at some of our favourite articles. Happy reading.
This issue of Follow the Script highlights the value offered by a managed drug formulary such as the Green Shield Canada Conditional Drug Formulary. In our “Behind the Counter” interview, we talk to Ned Pojskic, leader, pharmacy & health provider relations, about value in drug benefit plans and how drug companies, doctors, and pharmacists can impact that value.
- GSC’s latest mental health support effort:
adding BEACON as a digital counselling/
mental health coverage alternative
- Our Change4Life® portal turns three!
GSC formalizes its position on health
- Saskatchewan government repeals PST on
life and health insurance premiums – future
collection and refunds
- In case you missed it: chronic pain app
- Keeping up with government changes – OHIP+
Quebec public prescription drug insurance
plan – updates effective July 1, 2018
- Upcoming changes to compression stockings
This issue of Follow the Script includes an update of GSC’s Value-based Pharmacy initiative which provides pharmacies across Canada with monthly performance reports. In our “Behind the Counter” interview, we talk to pharmacist Leila Mandlsohn about the ways pharmacies can improve their performance scores – and improve the services they provide to patients.
So what is the BEACON program?
We used the criteria for an effective i-CBT program to review many options available today, and while there were several programs to consider, the BEACON i-CBT program impressed.
The BEACON program is an i-CBT program for people 16 years or older struggling with a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health condition. It provides participants with unlimited access to a therapist for up to 12 weeks, and to online BEACON resources for a full year – all for a one-time cost of $500 (compared to an average cost of $200 for one hour
face-to-face with a therapist).
The impact of chronic pain is all around us
A National Institutes of Health study estimates that up to one in five Canadians suffers from chronic pain. In addition, almost half of those with chronic pain reported suffering from it for more than 10 years and rated the intensity in the very severe range. Of course, the high incidence of chronic pain means that it’s definitely a reality in today’s workplace. To help plan members suffering chronic pain to take control and better manage their condition, Green Shield Canada (GSC), is launching a new digital health strategy.
- Pharmacogenomics: promise, potential, possibilities
- WHAT'S UP... Nova Scotia helping with cost of take-home drugs, Study shows multiple chronic conditions when Ontarians die, Update on opioids
What’s in this edition?
- More on the new medical cannabis (marijuana) coverage option – now available
- Glucose monitoring systems (GMS) – more details about the upcoming change to extended health services benefits (effective June 1, 2018)
- We’re making some changes to Online Services to improve the plan member experience
- Continuing to focus on mental health via the Change4Life® health management portal
- Quebec optometrists to opt out of RAMQ – what we know so far
- Saskatchewan government repeals PST on life and health insurance premiums – future collection and refunds
GSC’s spring 2018 issue of Follow the Script®
Our spring issue of Follow the Script provides an update of GSC’s preferred pharmacy network which was launched in the fall of 2015. In the “Behind the Counter” interview, we speak with pharmacist Chris Leung about the recent change to our Narcotic Pain Management Policy.
- Mega credit, monster mortgages, and no budget: Financial health has a big impact on overall health
- WHAT'S UP... British Columbia’s Fair PharmaCare to reduce or eliminate deductibles, New medical marijuana guideline highlights need for solid scientific evidence, Alberta dental fee guide update
The next step in drug plan innovation: Green Shield Canada’s (GSC’s) Biosimilar Transition Program
In 2016, GSC unveiled a new standard approach around biosimilars for patients newly starting biologic therapy: Under GSC formularies, biosimilars are listed as preferred products, and the originator products are covered only in exceptional circumstances.
In keeping with our commitment to provide innovative solutions in pharmacy benefit management, GSC is taking
the management of biosimilar drug products a step further with the Biosimilar Transition Program.
- Thorny issues will persist in 2018, here’s how we’ll lessen their sting…
- WHAT'S UP... Deal will cut generic drug prices by up to 40%, Update on opioids: 40,000 new starts for high-dose prescription opioids, Flu virus particularly aggressive, Study shows mindfulness helps create a less toxic workplace, GSC’s Health Study Roadshow is taking a break in ‘18
And don’t miss episode five of GSC’s podcast, “And Now for Something Completely Indifferent…”, as David Willows interviews special guest Stephen Frank of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association. Check it out here.
- Another reason to get your plan members on the Change4Life® portal: The Mindfulness Program
- GSC is offering Best Doctors
- Glucose monitoring systems (GMS): An upcoming (optional) change to extended health services benefits for plan members managing diabetes
- 2018 provincial dental fee guide adjustments
- How can you keep your plan members informed about their benefits plan?
- Changes coming soon to Online Services!
- In health care, artificial intelligence is the future
- WHAT'S UP... New! Alberta dental fee guide effective January 1, 2018, Medication synchronization improves adherence, High-price drugs accounted for 40% of patented drug sales in 2016, Prescription drugs are forecast to represent over 80% of Canada’s drug spending in 2017
Medical marijuana – where do we go from here?
- Our winter issue of Follow the Script introduces GSC’s new medical marijuana product which will be launched early in 2018. In our “Behind the Counter” interview we discuss what plan members should expect from their pharmacists with our pharmacist, Leila Mandlsohn.
- Artificial intelligence isn’t just a new buzzword... it’s a game changer, especially in managing claims
- WHAT'S UP... GSC sails into uncharted waters again, Opioid crisis update: new statistics and new initiatives, Bringing drug industry payments out of the shadows
Off-label prescribing is the featured topic of our fall issue of Follow the Script, including what types of drugs are commonly prescribed off label and why, as well as GSC’s off-label drug policy. In our “Behind the Counter” interview, pharmacist Andrea Staruch talks to us about her experience with off-label prescribing both behind the counter and as consulting pharmacist at GSC.
CANADA TURNS 150 AND GSC TURNS 60!
Let’s celebrate by reflecting on how the health insurance industry and Canada’s approach to health have evolved over the years. Here are all the wonderful, worrisome — and sometimes wacky — turns along the way...
- Is Health Care Delivering Value?
- Community Giving Program: Education Foundation of Niagara – Medical Needs Fund
- WHAT'S UP... Update on Opioids, New Reports Investigate the Value of Additional Community Pharmacy Services, Other News About Pharmacy Practice
- Time to Listen to What Our Mouths Are Telling Us
- Community Giving Program: The Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-operative – Umbrella Welcome Clinic
- WHAT'S UP... 2017 Ontario Budget Proposes Pharmacare Program For Children and Youth, Significant Savings Possible With Hypertension Care by Pharmacists, Public Policy Paper About National Pharmacare
- Recent Television Coverage Investigates Canada’s Rising Drug Prices
- WHAT'S UP... Nova Scotia Human Rights Board Rules in Favour of Covering Medical Marijuana, Draft Guideline Designed to Slow Canada’s Opioid Epidemic, The Cost of Smoking-Attributable Diseases Worldwide
- Community Giving Program: Halton Peel Dental Association – Smile Days
- Helping you keep your plan safe from fraud and abuse
- 2017 provincial dental fee guide adjustments
- Quebec Drug Insurance Pooling Corporation threshold changes for 2017
- Pharmacies in Quebec to update billing practices thanks to legislation changes
- Dietitian Health Coaching Update
- Want to Keep Employees and the Financials of Your Benefits Plan Healthy?
- WHAT'S UP... We’re Hitting the Road with the GSC 2017 Health Study, Proposed Federal Tax on Employer Health Benefit Contributions, Recent Research Sheds Light on Health Management Efforts
- Community Giving Program: Homeless Connect Toronto
- Depression and the Medicalization of Sadness… Has “Treatment” Come to Mean “Drugs”?
- WHAT'S UP... New Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy, Ontario Pharmacists Now Giving Additional Vaccines, Chronic Condition Infographics
- Community Giving Program: YWCA of Yellowknife
- Community Giving Program: Horizons for Youth, Youth Without Shelter
- Change4Life is Changing Lives!
- WHAT'S UP... Conference Board of Canada Research About Specialty Medications, SEBs Shown Comparable to Brand-Name Counterparts, Eight Hours of Sitting Requires One Hour of Activity
- Personalized Medicine Represents a World of Possibilities
- Community Giving Program: 2016 Grant Recipients
- WHAT'S UP... Report Summarizes the First Healthy Canada Conference, Antidepressant Research in the News, Smoking Cessation Research in the News
- GSC Tackles Mental Health
- Community Giving Program: Cornerstone Housing for Women Foundation, Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes, LOFT Community Services, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre
- WHAT'S UP... Prescription Drug Expenditures In Canadian Public Plans, Insight Into Health Care Trends, Update To Plan Member Online Services
- GSC Health Study 2015
- Community Giving Program: Richmond Family Place Society, Providing Alternatives Counselling & Education Society, University of Victoria, Scarborough Women’s Centre, and Pine River Foundation
- WHAT'S UP... Report On Diabetes, Future Health Care Approaches
- Straight Talk from the Doctor’s Office
- Community Giving Program: Touchstone Family Association, Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia, Little Mountain Neighbourhood House Society, Heritage Skills Development Center, Canadian Centre For Women’s Education and Development
- WHAT'S UP... Generic Drug Prices in Canada, Pharmacist Care for Cancer Patients, Sustainable Solutions Report
- Everyone Needs a Helping Hand…Especially for Tackling Chronic Conditions
- Community Giving Program: Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Foundation, Windsor Residence for Young Men, and Maryvale Children’s Mental Health Centre
- What's Up ... Pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance, Healthy Brains at Work Report, and What’s Up at GSC
- Asking the Tough Questions About Health Benefits Plans
- Community Giving Program: Le Grand Chemin Centres, Médecins du Monde Canada (Doctors of the World Canada), and Exeko
- What's Up ... News from Manitoba, Strep Tests in Nova Scotia, and Heart Month
- The ChangeMakers: "Wake Up!" Not Your Typical Employee Wellness Campaign
- GSC Frontline Care™: Welcome Hall Mission
- What's Up... Health Canada Launches Product Inspection Databases, NS to Regulate Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, PEI Adds 18 New Drugs to Formulary
- Introducing Our Newest ChangeMaker: Diana McNiven, GE Canada
- GSC Frontline Care™: CUPS Coordinated Care Team
- What's Up... Plan Members Will Soon Have Access to Change4Life™ Online, Health Canada Makes it Easier to Access Health Information, PEI Launches New Vision Care Program for Children
- Some Inspiration to Start the New Year! Introducing the ChangeMakers
- GSC Frontline Care: REACH Community Health Centre Dental Clinic
- What's Up... Submit More Types of Online Claims to GSC, PEI Adds Drugs to Pharmacare Programs, BC Changes Blood Glucose Test Strip Coverage