Press Releases
May 23, 2019

Paramount, United Healthcare Win 2019 Pinnacle Awards

Food clinics and digital prescription program earn annual innovation accolades

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Association of Health Plans (OAHP) has recognized Paramount Health Care and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Ohio for their innovative and effective approaches to addressing significant health care challenges. OAHP recognized Paramount’s ProMedica Food Clinics and UnitedHealthcare’s PreCheck MyScript with the 2019 Pinnacle Awards, presented at OAHP’s 2019 Annual Convention held this week at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel.

“Ohio’s health plans are consistently leading and innovating toward the goal of affordable and accessible health care,” said OAHP President and CEO Miranda Motter. “As we recognize Paramount and UnitedHealthcare for the exceptional caliber of their programs, it’s important to note they are representative of what all Ohio health plans are doing to address the health care and nutrition needs of their members.”

Pinnacle Awards are given on an annual basis to OAHP member health plans who have launched initiatives that have become best practices in addressing the challenges of a shifting health care environment. The 2019 honorees are:

Paramount’s ProMedica Food Clinics – ProMedica operates three food clinics – which opened in 2015 and 2016 – under the principle that food is medicine. Paramount’s staff screens patients at ProMedica hospitals for food insecurity during members’ initial needs assessments and subsequent assessments. Those identified as having a food insecurity are eligible for referral to the closest ProMedica Food Clinic. There they may select two or three days’ worth of healthy food for their households while also receiving free nutrition counseling from a dietician.

Each referral can be used once every 30 days; if after six months the member is still in need, they can receive another referral from their primary care physician. Paramount also provides transportation to and from the food clinics for Medicaid members. In 2018, there were 10,072 household visits to the Food Clinic with approximately 78,255 days’ worth of food provided to recipients.

The goal is to decrease food insecurity so patients can focus on staying healthy, which may ultimately drive down health care costs and non-primary care utilization. Preliminary results indicate the program has been a success: Those using the food clinic program made 29% fewer emergency room visits after a year. Paramount also reports a 5% reduction in the total per-member, per-month insurance cost a year after beginning the program.

UnitedHealthcare PreCheck MyScript – Created by UnitedHealthcare and OptumRx, PreCheck MyScript is a digital health care program and app that doctors can use to write and renew prescriptions during a patient’s visit. The program is accessed through Link, UnitedHealthcare’s physician health portal, and enables doctors to run a trial pharmacy claim before prescribing a medication to get real- time prescription pricing and coverage details for UnitedHealthcare members.

PreCheck MyScript helps patients at the point of care by eliminating administrative hassle by providing clarity and simplicity to physicians. With PreCheck MyScript, providers immediately know what a prescription costs and potentially see more affordable alternatives that they can discuss with their patients. If a medication requires prior authorization, they can quickly request approval through the app, reducing delays. For patients, this accelerates the process of accessing the medications they need while avoiding costly surprises at the pharmacy counter. For doctors, the efficiency of PreCheck MyScript gives them more time to spend with patients, resulting in increased trust between care providers and their patients.

PreCheck MyScript is now available to about 115,000 prescribing physicians, and has generated more than 4 million transactions, resulting in patients changing to a lower-cost drug more than 20% of the time. By the end of 2019, the app is expected to reach 80% of UnitedHealthcare in-network physicians who prescribe medications electronically.

The Ohio Association of Health Plans (OAHP) represents 15 member plans providing health insurance coverage to more than 9 million Ohioans. Ohio’s health plans include commercial insurers, Medicaid managed care plans and Medicare Advantage Plans. As the statewide trade association for the health insurance industry, our core mission is to promote and advocate for quality health care and access to a variety of affordable health benefits for all Ohioans.