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DLC’s George Huntley advocates for patient-centered insurance design

George Huntley hit Capitol Hill recently to represent DLC and people with diabetes in a panel discussion on value-based insurance design (VBID). Smarter Health Care Coalition hosted the event during its annual summit.

Manufacturers, health plans, PBMs and policymakers are showing greater interest in VBID that ties drug or device costs to health outcomes. Plans pay more for products that yield better health outcomes, and less for products that don’t.

Huntley emphasized VBID’s potential to improve care quality and value if plans eliminate or reduce cost sharing for people with diabetes or other chronic conditions. Health plans and PBMs should not be able to collect larger rebates or discounts based on patient health outcomes while exposing those same individuals to full list prices or other high cost-sharing at the point-of-sale.

Huntley also encouraged the audience to measure outcomes that patients value, not just their health plan or PBM. For example, A1c is useful for measuring long-term risk of diabetes-related complications, but other outcomes impact health and quality of life on a daily basis — like time in range, hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

When it comes to chronic conditions like diabetes, where management is complex and individualized, VBID needs to involve patient perspectives and experience early on — so incentives are aligned appropriately to improve access and outcomes, not complicate them.