Saving Patients Money

Real-Time, Member-Specific Prescription Information Across All Points of Care

Senior lady using a tablet computer in her living room
April 11, 2018
Former Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Benefit Management Innovation, CVS Health

Real-time benefit information is now available at all CVS Pharmacy locations and directly to plan members through the Check Drug Cost tool on and the CVS Caremark app.

The high cost of prescription drugs is one of the nation’s most pressing problems and a major source of financial worry for consumers across the nation. As prescription drug prices continue to rise and enrollment in high deductible health plans grows, many patients are shouldering higher costs for their prescription medicine. About 83 percent of Americans are personally concerned about the impact of rising prescription drug prices, according to a recent national poll commissioned by CVS Health.

In response, CVS Health launched a comprehensive initiative to make real-time, member-specific prescription benefit information available across all points of care, help provide greater price transparency, improve access to lower-cost alternatives, and make prescription drugs more affordable for all consumers.

Real-time benefit information is now available at all CVS Pharmacy locations and directly to plan members through the Check Drug Cost tool on and the CVS Caremark app.

Why Real-Time Benefit Information Matters

Having patient-specific information available in real-time enables prescribers to make better informed decisions and encourages the use of a clinically appropriate drug that may cost the plan member less. It allows prescribers to change a prescription as part of the workflow, streamlining staff activities. It can also help payors control costs by encouraging the use of clinically appropriate, lower-cost alternatives while ensuring prescribing decisions are aligned to the payors’ formularies. For members, transparent, real-time benefit information offers access to more affordable medications while reducing the possibility of disruption from either a drug’s cost being too high or it not being on formulary.

Finding More Affordable Alternatives

Drug coverage for a particular member, out-of-pocket costs, and whether the member’s local pharmacy is in-network can all vary based on plan and formulary design, as well as how much of the member’s deductible has been met. Real-time benefits help ensure that up-to-the-minute, member-specific coverage and pricing information is available across all points of care. 

It also enables prescribers, pharmacists and members to compare drug costs and find the right therapy at the lowest-cost.

At the Prescriber's Office

Even before a prescription is written, prescribers can now see member-specific cost and coverage information, including:

Checkmark Cost of a selected drug based on the member’s plan coverage, deductible, and whether they have met their deductible, if applicable
Checkmark Up to five clinically appropriate, therapeutic alternatives, mapped for clinical substitution and specific to the member’s formulary, including the out-of-pocket costs for each
Checkmark Restrictions on the selected drug and alternatives, such as prior authorization (PA), step therapy requirements, or quantity limits
Checkmark Whether the selected pharmacy is in-network

With real-time benefits, all of the information is integrated into the e-prescribing workflow, enabling prescribers to select a clinically appropriate medication that may be more affordable for the member. If the selected drug has any restrictions, the prescriber can automatically submit an electronic prior authorization (ePA) request, speeding up the process and helping to avoid a disruption or delay of therapy.

At CVS Pharmacy

At CVS Pharmacy, our new Rx Savings Finder lets pharmacists quickly and easily determine ways members can save money on out-of-pocket costs by finding the lowest-cost alternative under their pharmacy benefit. If the member’s prescription is not covered, the pharmacist is alerted within the workflow and can request a prescription change from the provider at the click of a button.

The Rx Savings Finder will help pharmacists:

Checkmark Verify if the prescribed medication is on the patient’s formulary and is the lowest-cost option available
Checkmark Check whether there are clinically appropriate, lower-cost options — such as a generic — covered under the member’s pharmacy benefit
Checkmark See if the member is able to save money by filling a 90-day prescription rather than a 30-day prescription
Checkmark Identify other potential savings options, when available, if drug costs are still a concern and neither a generic nor a lower-cost alternative are available

Pharmacists can also help patients enroll in the ExtraCare Loyalty Program and sign them up for Pharmacy and Health Rewards. Through Pharmacy and Health Rewards, patients receive $5 in ExtraBucks for every 10 prescriptions filled, earning up to $50 in ExtraBucks annually.

Wherever the Member Is

Through the Check Drug Cost tool on and the Caremark app, members can now:

Checkmark Find out if a medication is covered by the plan
Checkmark See out-of-pocket costs and fill options for up to five clinically appropriate, therapeutic alternatives, if available
Checkmark See coverage restrictions, such as prior authorization or quantity limits
Checkmark Compare savings based on filling options, such as 90-day supplies and mail service
Checkmark Check to see if the price is lower at another pharmacy
Checkmark See their remaining deductible

Members can use this information to request a different medication or have a conversation about their prescription options with their prescriber or pharmacist. Customer Care representatives also have this member-specific benefit information integrated within their system and can assist members with cost and coverage questions.

Want to learn how real-time benefits information can lower costs for your members and improve formulary adherence? Ask Us
April 11, 2018
Former Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Benefit Management Innovation, CVS Health

Explore Programs

Cost Management

Our Market-Leading Solutions Help Clients Stay Ahead of Marketplace Trends and Achieve Lowest Net Cost.

Formulary Management

Helping Lower Client Cost While Ensuring Members Have Access to Clinically Appropriate Medications.

Improving Health

Optimizing prescription therapy is key to improving outcomes for chronic conditions that drive a majority of health care spend.

CVS Health uses and shares data as allowed by applicable law, and by our agreements and our information firewall.

ExtraCare Health program availability subject to Legal and Tax approval. Client adopts the ExtraCare Health Card as part of its plan benefit. Clients must meet Underwriting criteria to implement the ExtraCare Health Card. The ExtraCare Health Card discount does not apply at Target stores.

©2018 CVS Health. All rights reserved.