What is Utilization Management?

Why do some drugs have restrictions?

For certain prescription drugs, special rules restrict how and when the plan covers them. A team of doctors and pharmacists developed these rules to help our members use drugs in the most effective ways. These special rules also help control overall drug costs, which keeps your drug coverage more affordable.

In general, our rules encourage you to get a drug that works for your medical condition and is safe and effective. Whenever a safe, lower-cost drug will work just as well medically as a higher cost drug, the plan’s rules are designed to encourage you and your provider to use that lower-cost option. We also need to comply with Medicare’s rules and regulations for drug coverage and cost-sharing.

If there is a restriction for your drug, it usually means that you or your provider will have to take extra steps in order for us to cover the drug. If you want us to waive the restriction for you, you will need to use the coverage decision process and ask us to make an exception. We may or may not agree to waive the restriction for you. (See Chapter 9, Section 7.2 of our Evidence of Coverage for information about asking for exceptions.)

Please note that sometimes a drug may appear more than once in our drug list. This is because different restrictions or cost-sharing may apply based on factors such as the strength, amount, or form of the drug prescribed by your health care provider (for instance, 10 mg versus 100 mg; one per day versus two per day; tablet versus liquid).


Drug Utilization Review and Quality Assurance

We conduct drug utilization reviews for all of our members to make sure that you are receiving safe and appropriate care. These reviews are especially important for members who have more than one doctor who prescribe their medications. We conduct drug utilization reviews each time you fill a prescription and on a regular basis by reviewing our records. During these reviews, we look for medication problems such as:

  • Possible medication errors
  • Duplicate drugs that are unnecessary because you are taking another drug to treat the same medical condition
  • Drugs that are inappropriate because of your age or gender
  • Possible harmful interactions between drugs you are taking
  • Drug allergies
  • Drug dosage errors

If we identify a medication problem during our drug utilization review, we will work with your doctor to correct the problem.


Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

Click here to find information about the Passport Advantage Medication Therapy Management Program.



Last Modified: December 17, 2019