Health care focus of outsourcing professionals meeting at UMSL

George Paz, UMSL alumnus and CEO of Express Scripts, gave the keynote address April 24 at the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ Midwest Chapter meeting. The meeting was held at UMSL and focused on outsourcing of health-care services. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Health care is a growing global concern. Insurance costs, doctor bills and prescription fees continue to increase. The recent meeting of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ Midwest Chapter meeting held at the University of Missouri–St. Louis focused on outsourcing of health-care services.

The meeting, held April 24, included a keynote address from George Paz, UMSL alumnus and CEO of Express Scripts. A panel discussion followed, including Chris Long, president of ClearTurn Consulting, Inc.; Michael DiMarco, CEO of The Outsourcing Group; Micheal Browning, CFO of Madison County Community Hospital in London, Ohio; and Cindy Spiess, senior director for quality and performance improvement at VHA Mid-America.

Mary Lacity, professor of information systems at UMSL and an internationally-known expert on outsourcing, is a member of the IAOP Midwest Chapter.

“We are a global organization of 120,000 outsourcing professionals, “ Lacity said. “Most of our work gets done through the chapters… The mission of our chapter is really to promote the sourcing industry in the Midwest region. It also focused on education and training of certified outsourcing professionals and we also have lots of networking events.”

With the focus on health care, it’s only fitting that Paz kicked off the meeting talking about the impact Express Scripts has had on prescriptions and overall health care.

“(Express Scripts) started out  in 1986 as a small mail-order pharmacy,” he said. “There was a retail chain that started a mail-order company, and the idea was that they were going to send out 30-day prescriptions. The idea was to make things convenient for health-care members.”

Paz said prescription costs add up to 20 percent of the overall money spent every year on health care. He added that Express Scripts is using technology to help doctors and pharmacies become more accurate in dispensing prescriptions.

“Prescriptions now are far different than before,” he said. “The idea is to get the individual on the right product and to keep them on that product and to keep their lifestyle in the right fashion can cause them to have a very successful, good life, and that’s what we are all about.

“You go to the doctor once or twice a year, but prescriptions are taken every day,” he said.

Express Scripts processes 120,000 prescriptions a day, mostly by mail-order service. Paz said to continue to grow and meet the needs of their customers, Express Scripts is now looking at studying human behavior in order to ensure that individuals who need medicine get their prescriptions and take them on a regular basis.

“All kinds of things get in the way of people filling their prescriptions,” he said. “You look in the bottle and you have four more left and you think you’re going to do it on the way home, but then a day or two passes and then next thing you know you’re out of your prescription. That’s very common. Our job is to find those people who are missing their medication and to assist them in getting their prescriptions refilled. Because they might not feel bad, so they don’t worry about taking it, but without it, they could be a heart attack waiting to happen.”


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