MANAGED CARE June 2006. ©MediMedia USA
Target is considering eliminating its traditional health insurance plans for employees, reports the Wall Street Journal. The giant retailer has introduced health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts for its more than 300,000 workers. These, of course, are the necessary steps to switching to consumer-directed health care. Workers, not surprisingly, worry that Target simply wants to shift more of the financial burden onto them. . . . The rise in prescription drug spending in 2005 was the lowest it's been in seven years, according to a study by Medco Health Solutions. Lon Castle, MD, Medco's director of medical policy and clinical quality, tells the Associated Press that drug utilization may be slowing thanks to media focus on safety. "I think patients are more concerned over what they put in their bodies," says Castle.