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NLRB Substantially Increases Damages For Labor Law Violations

In a landmark NLRB decision, the Board broadly expanded the monetary award that may be given to prevailing workers in unfair labor practice disputes. Prior to the new Thryv, Inc. and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1269 – (20-CA-251105) December 2022 decision, monetary damages had been limited to “back pay.” This limit has been expanded by the NLRB to award monetary damages to include “make whole” relief.

To make the employee “whole,”examples of additional forms of relief may include “consequential damages” such as increases in insurance premiums, co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses, extra medical expenses, expenses incurred in connection with a search for other work, credit card debt interest and late fees on credit card debt, penalties suffered by employees who are forced to make early withdrawals from retirement accounts; and increased transportation or childcare costs.

In this case the California employer, Thryv, Inc., operates a marketing agency engaged in the business of selling Yellow Pages advertising, as well its eponymous product “Thryv,” an application for small businesses. While all parties agree that Yellow Pages advertising has increasingly declined since the advent of the Internet, Thryv still generates annual revenues in excess of $1.1 billion, with print and electronic advertising accounting for 88 percent of that amount.

The Union represents a unit of employees that includes the Thryv outside sales force, which in turn consists of three subsets of “premise” representatives, so named because they go to customer premises to solicit advertising sales.

Around mid-July of 2019, Thryv began implementing its proposal to lay off all of its New Business Advisors in the Northern California Region.

The Assistant Vice President of Labor Relations emailed the Union stating that Thryv “will administer a force adjustment” and lay off the six New Business Advisors in the Northern California Region effective September 20. The email stated, “[i]f the Union desires to exercise its right to meet and discuss the Company’s plan within the 30-day period, please contact [Labor Relations Manager] Ralph Vitales to arrange such discussions.”

The Union and Thryv met several times to discuss the layoff of the New Business Advisors, but failed to arrive at an agreement. And Thryv then unilaterally implemented its layoff decision just nine days after the first bargaining session.  While the trial judge did not find this to be unlawful, the NLRB reversed, and found that Thryv “violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) by unilaterally laying off six New Business Advisors” without responding to the union request for additional documentation it needed to evaluate the offers made by Thryv.

In concluding the appeal, the NLRB next turned to the issue of “the proper remedy.” It went on to conclude “that it is necessary for the Board to revisit and clarify our existing practice of ordering relief that ensures affected employees are made whole for the consequences of a respondent’s unlawful conduct.”

Previously, the Board had issued a Notice and Invitation to File Briefs, which sought briefing on whether the Board should include, as part of its make-whole remedy, “relief for consequential damages.”

In it’s amicus brief, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pointed out that ” By its terms, Section 10(c) identifies “back pay” as the only monetary relief that the Board can award to employees who suffer harm from an unfair labor practice. On finding that a person has committed an unfair labor practice, the Board “shall issue . . . an order requiring such person to cease and desist from such unfair labor practice, and to take such affirmative action including reinstatement of employees with or without back pay, as will effectuate the policies of [the Act]” 29 U.S.C. § 160(c). That language has been present e unchanged since the Wagner Act’s adoption in 1935.”

Despite arguments by amicus to the contrary, the Board concluded that “in all cases in which our standard remedy would include an order for make- whole relief, the Board will expressly order that the respondent compensate affected employees for all direct or foreseeable pecuniary harms suffered as a result of the respondent’s unfair labor practice.”

In rejecting the argument of the Chamber of Commerce (and several other amicus briefs) the Board supported their ruling by noting “The Supreme Court has held that our authority to fashion such a remedy “is a broad discretionary one.” NLRB v. J. H. Rutter-Rex Manufacturing, 396 U.S. 258, 262-63 (1969), and several other case decisions.

“Make-whole relief” is more fully realized when it consistently compensates affected employees for all direct or foreseeable pecuniary harms that result from a respondent’s unfair labor practice.

Where, as here, employees have been laid off in violation of the Act or been the targets of other unfair labor practices, they may be forced to incur significant financial costs, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, credit card debt, or other costs simply in order to make ends meet. We cannot fairly say that employees have been made whole until they are fully compensated for these kinds of pecuniary harms if the harms were direct or foreseeable consequences of the respondent’s unfair labor practice. The Board has a “statutory obligation to provide meaningful, make-whole relief for losses incurred by discriminatees . . . . ”

DWC Posts Reminder for Submission of Annual Report of Inventory

Claims administrators are reminded that the Annual Report of Inventory (ARI) must be submitted in early 2023 for claims reported in calendar year 2022.

The California Code of Regulations, title 8, Section 10104 requires claims administrators to file, by April 1 of each year, an ARI with the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) indicating the number of claims reported at each adjusting location for the preceding calendar year.

Even if no claims were reported in the prior year, the report must be completed and submitted to the DWC Audit Unit. Each adjusting location is required to submit an ARI unless its requirement has been waived by DWC.

When ARI requirements are waived, claims administrators must file an annual report of adjusting locations. This report is to be filed annually on April 1 of each calendar year for the adjusting location operations as of December 31 of the prior year.

Claims administrators are required to report any change in the information reported in the ARI or annual report of adjusting location within 45 days of the effective date of the change.

Penalties of up to $500 per location for failure to timely file this Report of Inventory may be assessed under Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 10111.1(b)(11) or 10111.2(b)(26). The form for 2022 can be found on the DWC website.

Questions about submission of the ARI or the annual report of adjusting locations may be directed to the Audit Unit::

State of California
Department of Industrial Relations
Division of Workers’ Compensation – Audit Unit
160 Promenade Circle, Suite #340
Sacramento, CA 95834-2962
Email: DWCAuditUnit@dir.ca.gov, FAX 916.928.3183 or phone 916.928.3180.

KCRA-TV Fraud Documentary Triggers EDD Congressional Inquiry

KCRA-TV is a television station in Sacramento,affiliated with NBC. It is owned by Hearst Television.

For months, KCRA 3 Investigates producer Dave Manoucheri and Photographer Victor Nieto traveled across California and interviewed people in other states as part of an unprecedented documentary project that revealed a wave of failures at California’s Employment Development Department, or EDD. With nearly 15 hours of interviews from 17 people – and dozens of hours of news footage – the documentary tells the story of what is being called the worst fraud in California history.

And the documentary seems to have triggered a federal investigation of the EDD. On Friday, James Comer, head of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability sent two letters, one to Nancy Farias, head of the EDD, and one to Martin Walsh, head of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The letters both cite KCRA and the documentary “Easy Money: Fraud Fortune and Failures” in the need for an investigation of fraud against the California unemployment system.

From 2020 onward, the department had seen massive numbers of fraudulent applications for unemployment and for the CARES Act era program “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance” (PUA). That program would allow freelancers and gig workers to apply for lost wages, something they had never been eligible for before.

During the pandemic, EDD had a massive number of both legitimate and illegitimate applications for money. In an effort to get money out the door, the leadership at EDD and in the administration lifted fraud controls and allowed people to back-date their claims, assuming that they could catch fraud on the back end. However, EDD had no back-end fraud prevention mechanisms.

The letter quotes the head of California Labor and Workforce at the time, Julie Su, as saying “there is no sugar coating the reality, California did not have sufficient security measures in place to prevent this level of fraud,” something she said during a press call highlighted by Easy Money.

Su would go on to become a deputy secretary of labor in the Biden administration.

Comer, a Republican Congressman from Kentucky, took over the Committee on Oversight and Accountability with the changeover in the House of Representatives, now controlled by a Republican majority.”Despite the unexpected and unprecedented nature of the coronavirus pandemic, California’s problems cannot be blamed on COVID alone,” Comer wrote in the letter to Nancy Farias

As part of their investigation, the committee is asking for:

  “1. All processes and procedures related to the disbursement of unemployment insurance benefits during the pandemic, including policies and procedures intended to ensure payments are made to the proper individual, and to ensure that the individual is a qualified recipient of unemployment insurance;
  2. All documents and communications between employees of the California EDD and employees of the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the state’s UI benefit program;
  3. All documents and communications related to efforts to prevent payment of fraudulent UI claims;
  4. All documents and communications related to efforts to recoup UI claims paid improperly; and
  5. All documents and communications related to identifying the total number of improperly paid UI benefits and documents sufficient to show whether those funds remain in the United States or were transferred to entities outside the United States.”

They are asking for similar information from the U.S. Department of Labor. The documents are requested no later than Jan. 27. The committee is holding its hearing into the matter on Feb. 1.

Kaiser Health News Says Smartphone May Become Next Doctors’ Office

A fingertip pressed against a phone’s camera lens can measure a heart rate. The microphone, kept by the bedside, can screen for sleep apnea. Even the speaker is being tapped, to monitor breathing using sonar technology. In the best of this new world, the data is conveyed remotely to a medical professional for the convenience and comfort of the patient or, in some cases, to support a clinician without the need for costly hardware.

But using smartphones as diagnostic tools is a work in progress, experts say. Although doctors and their patients have found some real-world success in deploying the phone as a medical device, the overall potential remains unfulfilled and uncertain.

Smartphones come packed with sensors capable of monitoring a patient’s vital signs. They can help assess people for concussions, watch for atrial fibrillation, and conduct mental health wellness checks, to name the uses of a few nascent applications.

Companies and researchers eager to find medical applications for smartphone technology are tapping into modern phones’ built-in cameras and light sensors; microphones; accelerometers, which detect body movements; gyroscopes; and even speakers. The apps then use artificial intelligence software to analyze the collected sights and sounds to create an easy connection between patients and physicians. Earning potential and marketability are evidenced by the more than 350,000 digital health products available in app stores, according to a Grand View Research report.

“It’s very hard to put devices into the patient home or in the hospital, but everybody is just walking around with a cellphone that has a network connection,” said Dr. Andrew Gostine, CEO of the sensor network company Artisight. Most Americans own a smartphone, including more than 60% of people 65 and over, an increase from just 13% a decade ago, according the Pew Research Center. The covid-19 pandemic has also pushed people to become more comfortable with virtual care.

Some of these products have sought FDA clearance to be marketed as a medical device. That way, if patients must pay to use the software, health insurers are more likely to cover at least part of the cost. Other products are designated as exempt from this regulatory process, placed in the same clinical classification as a Band-Aid. But how the agency handles AI and machine learning-based medical devices is still being adjusted to reflect software’s adaptive nature.

Ensuring accuracy and clinical validation is crucial to securing buy-in from health care providers. And many tools still need fine-tuning, said Dr. Eugene Yang, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington. Currently, Yang is testing contactless measurement of blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation gleaned remotely via Zoom camera footage of a patient’s face.

Big tech companies like Google have heavily invested in researching this kind of technology, catering to clinicians and in-home caregivers, as well as consumers. Currently, in the Google Fit app, users can check their heart rate by placing their finger on the rear-facing camera lens or track their breathing rate using the front-facing camera.

“If you took the sensor out of the phone and out of a clinical device, they are probably the same thing,” said Shwetak Patel, director of health technologies at Google and a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Washington.

Google’s research uses machine learning and computer vision, a field within AI based on information from visual inputs like videos or images. So instead of using a blood pressure cuff, for example, the algorithm can interpret slight visual changes to the body that serve as proxies and biosignals for a patient’s blood pressure, Patel said.

Google is also investigating the effectiveness of the built-in microphone for detecting heartbeats and murmurs and using the camera to preserve eyesight by screening for diabetic eye disease, according to information the company published last year.

The tech giant recently purchased Sound Life Sciences, a Seattle startup with an FDA-cleared sonar technology app. It uses a smart device’s speaker to bounce inaudible pulses off a patient’s body to identify movement and monitor breathing.

Binah.ai, based in Israel, is another company using the smartphone camera to calculate vital signs. Its software looks at the region around the eyes, where the skin is a bit thinner, and analyzes the light reflecting off blood vessels back to the lens. The company is wrapping up a U.S. clinical trial and marketing its wellness app directly to insurers and other health companies, said company spokesperson Mona Popilian-Yona.

January 9, 2023 – News Podcast


Rene Thomas Folse, JD, Ph.D. is the host for this edition which reports on the following news stories: WCAB Says Injured County Inmate on Work Program is an Employee. Judge Issues Order Stopping the DIR From Implementing Fast Food Act. California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) Now Applicable to Employers. CWCI Study Shows WC Hospitalizations Continue to Decline. NIH Launches Pilot Telehealth Research Program. Hospital Closure Triggers Central California Emergency Declarations. Study Shows Robotic Knee Surgeries Reduce Bone and Soft-Tissue injury. Researchers Find Good Knee and Hip Surgery Outcomes in Patients Over 90.

Panel Clarifies WCAB Limits for Vacating Stipulations of Parties

Wendy Johnson was injured while employed by the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, who was insured by SCIF. Her case proceeded to trial in 2019.The WCJ issued a Findings & Award, finding Johnson was permanently totally disabled and allowing an attorney fee of 20%. SCIF sought reconsideration and the Appeals Board granted the petition for further study and the matter was referred to mediation.

As a result of the mediation, the parties entered into a Compromise and Release in the total amount of $685,000.00.

Paragraph 7 of the C&R provides that “The parties agree to settle the above claim(s) on account of the injury(ies) by the payment of the SUM OF: $685,000.00 The following amounts are to be deducted from the settlement amount: $25,300.00 for permanent disability advances through [June 26, 2013[;] $121,058.93, payable to WENDY THOMPSON FOR NON-SUBMIT MSA[;][and] $137,000.00 request as applicant’s attorney’s fee.”

The $137,000.00 attorney fee amounts to 20% of the settlement. Applicant and applicant’s attorney signed the C&R on October 12, 2022 and the attorney for defendant State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) signed it on October 14, 2022.

The Appeals Board rescinded the August 14, 2019 Findings of Fact and Award and remanded this matter to the WCJ for consideration of the C&R. The WCJ issued an Order Approving Compromise and Release on October 24, 2022, approving the settlement terms agreed to by the parties, including the attorney fee of $137,000.00.

SCIF again filed a Petition for Reconsideration, arguing that the WCJ’s finding that an attorney’s fee of $137,000.00 is unreasonable and not supported by evidence. The WCAB denied reconsideration of the attorney fee award in the panel decision of Thompson v Santa Ynex Valley Journal – ADJ8004567 (January 2023).

In its Opinion Denying Reconsideration, the panel noted that a stipulation between the parties need not be supported by substantial evidence citing County of Sacramento v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Weatherall) (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th 1114, 1121 [65 Cal.Comp.Cases 1]),”

A stipulation is an agreement between opposing counsel … ordinarily entered into for the purpose of avoiding delay, trouble, or expense in the conduct of the action, and serves ‘to obviate need for proof or to narrow range of litigable issues in a legal proceeding.(Weatherall, supra, 77 Cal.App.4th at p. 1119.)

Stipulations are designed to expedite trials and hearings and their use in workers’ compensation cases should be encouraged. (Robinson v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Robinson) (1987) 194 Cal.App.3d 784, 791 [52 Cal.Comp.Cases 419].)

Stipulations are binding on the parties unless, on a showing of good cause, the parties are given permission to withdraw from their agreements. (Weatherall, supra, at p. 1121.)

While the Appeals Board has the authority to reject parties’ stipulations, this “discretion does not validate capricious decisionmaking.” (Weatherall, supra, 77 Cal.App.4th at p. 1119.)

The panel concluded by stating: “Permitting a party to subsequently withdraw from an agreement because they have changed their mind endangers the finality of approved settlements and undermines transactional stability in the workers’ compensation system and risks discouraging future settlements. Defendant here has not even alleged grounds in its petition that could constitute good cause to set aside the C&R.”

California/Illinois Attorney Generals Sue Drugmakers for Price Gouging

A vial of insulin can cost as little as $2 to manufacture. Yet at the pharmacy counter, people with diabetes often end up paying hundreds for the life-saving medicine.

In the U.S., insulin is so expensive that many diabetics struggle to afford it even when covered by health plans, and are forced to ration their use – sometimes with deadly consequences. More than 3 million adults in California – over 10% of the state’s adult population – have been diagnosed with diabetes.

The California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest insulin makers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for driving up the cost of the lifesaving drug through what he alleges is unlawful, unfair, and deceptive business practices in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law.

The lawsuit alleges manufacturers Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi, and pharmacy benefit managers CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, and OptumRx, have leveraged their market power to overcharge patients. A 2021 report found that insulin costs roughly ten times more within the United States than outside it.

The three manufacturers named in the lawsuit produce over 90% of the global insulin supply and the three PBMs administer pharmacy benefits for roughly 80% of prescription claims managed. The lawsuit argues that because competition is highly limited in both their markets, these six companies are able to keep aggressively hiking the list price of insulin at the expense of many patients.

The lawsuit alleges that manufacturers and PBMs are complicit in overcharging for insulin. Manufacturers set the drug’s list price and PBMs then negotiate for rebates on behalf of health plans. Because rebates are based on a percentage of list price, manufacturers raise their list prices to provide the largest rebates they can offer PBMs.

PBMs are often paid for their services with a portion of the rebate they have negotiated. This creates an incentive to negotiate a drug with a higher rebate, not necessarily the lowest price for consumers. As a result, the drug becomes unaffordable for uninsured or underinsured patients, who have to pay the full price of insulin. High list prices also make insulin unaffordable for other patients as well, including those with high deductible health plans or coverage gaps.

And the California Attorney general is not going it alone. The California lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar case filed in December by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

In a 125-page fraud lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court, the office accused Eli Lilly, CVS Pharmacy, Novo Nordisk and several other pharmaceutical companies of artificially inflating the cost of insulin by over 1,000% since the late 1990s.

Today, insulin has become the poster child for skyrocketing and inflated drug prices,” the suit states.The complaint singles out Eli Lilly in particular, noting the price for a dose of its analog insulin Humalog rose by 1,527% between 1997 and 2018.

January 2, 2023 – News Podcast


Rene Thomas Folse, JD, Ph.D. is the host for this edition which reports on the following news stories: WCAB Orders Attorney to Identify Name of Employer per Rule 10390(a). NLRB Says USC Student Athletes are USC, Pac-12 and NCAA Employees. NLRB Reinstates Off-Duty Employee Rights to Access Employer’s Property. San Diego Pain Management Doctor and Office Manager Indicted. Fake Doctor Charged for 2nd Offense of Illegal Botox Injections. Labor Commissioner Collects $1.3M for Bakersfield Contractor Violations. WCIRB Reports Premiums Up 7% – But Combined Loss Ratio is 111%. Private Equity Firms Invest $206B In 1,400 Healthcare Acquisitions in 2021. Hospital Size and Teaching Status Produce Better Orthopedic Outcome. Factoring Decline in Life Expectancy When Reserving Lifetime Awards.

Major McDonald’s Franchise to Pay $2 Million to Settle EEOC Lawsuit

AMTCR, Inc., AMTCR Nevada, Inc., and AMTCR California, LLC have been collectively operating as a single employer and/or integrated enterprise in Nevada, Arizona, and California, and have common management and ownership, centralized control of labor operations, and interrelation operations.

These three entities Collectively own, manage, and operate approximately twenty-two McDonald’s fast food restaurants in this tri-state region, and are collectively doing business as “McDonald’s.” The 22 restaurants operate under the common ownership and management of President/Owner Abelardo “Abe” Martinez III. And they share common managers, such as Director of Operations Theresa Hernandez and Area Supervisor Ruben Benitez, who both oversee employees throughout the tri-state region.

They share a common corporate headquarters and/or main office and human resources department for the entire tri-state region located in Kingman, Arizona.

And the EEOC just announced that this major McDonald’s franchisee has agreed to pay nearly $2 million to settle an EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit.

Prior to filing the civil action, the EEOC investigated a charge of discrimination that had been filed with the Commission. Following the investigation, the Commission issued Letters of Determination to the employer, finding reasonable cause to believe that Title VII was violated and inviting them to join with the Commission in informal methods of conciliation to endeavor to eliminate the discriminatory practices and provide appropriate relief.

But the Commission was unable to secure from Defendants a conciliation agreement acceptable to the Commission. Therefore, in September 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a civil lawsuit against the companies in the United States District Court District of Nevada, charging them with sexual harassment and constructive discharge in stores/restaurants in Nevada, Arizona, and California.

The EEOC alleged in general that the “sexual harassment included, but was not limited to, constant groping, grabbing, and rubbing of the arms, shoulders, thighs, and buttocks; offensive comments and gestures regarding male genitalia; sexual advances; and sexual ridicule, intimidation, and insults.” And that due to the employer’s failure to remedy the ongoing sexual harassment, “the Charging Party and many other adversely affected employees could no longer tolerate the hostile and abusive work environment and were subjected to constructive discharge.”

One of the several specific instances of misconduct listed in the Complaint involved a twenty-six-year-old female Shift Manager, and another by a twenty-one-year-old male Cook. Both were employed at Defendants’ McDonald’s store in Blythe, California. Both claimed to be sexually harassed by the at Defendants’ McDonald’s store in Blythe, California, the by same General Manager, and who was also the hiring manager at this McDonald’s store.

This Blythe General Manager was in charge of receiving and reviewing job applications, interviewing applicants, and making hiring decisions. He was allegedly particularly fond of the young male applicants. After conducting interviews, The General Manager would message young male applicants via Facebook and send them sexually inappropriate messages and requests for dates. The General Manager admitted to Claimant 5 that he informed these male applicants via Facebook that if they refused to sexually engage with him and/or date him, he would not hire them.

During 2017 to mid-2019, many employees complained to “Claimant 5” about the General Manager’s sexual comments and conduct. Claimant 5 would relay these employee complaints to upper management, but Defendants did nothing to stop the harassment.

In July 2019, Claimant 5 felt compelled to compile a list of all the sexual harassment complaints that she had received. Claimant 5 submitted the list of complaints to upper management with a request for an investigation and remedial action. Later in July 2019, an employee meeting was held at the store where Defendants required employees were required to sign an agreement regarding sexual harassment. However, allegedly no other remedial action was taken.

After the July 2019 employee meeting, Claimant 5 continued to receive complaints from employees about being subjected to sexually offensive comments by male managers and co-workers. These comments often related to co-workers’ body parts such as breast size.

The company has agreed to pay $1,997,500 to resolve the sexual harassment lawsuit. And it has agreed to provide significant, franchise-wide injunctive relief aimed at preventing discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

AMTCR has also agreed to retain an outside third-party EEO monitor who will conduct internal audits of AMTCR’s practices in handling harassment and retaliation complaints; establish a centralized tracking system for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation complaints; and ensure accountability and appropriate disciplinary action occur.

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company Expands Social Mission

The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC), aims to fundamentally change the way the pharmaceutical industry operates. As a public-benefit corporation, its social mission of improving public health is just as important as the bottom line.

Cost Plus Drugs transparently charges a standard markup on every drug it sells. The costplusdrugs.com online pharmacy launched in January 2022 now carries over 1,000 prescription products, delivered by mail to thousands of happy customers every day. Cost Plus Drugs is working with health plans, managed-care organizations, pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) and self-insured employers to bring these same savings to employer-sponsored benefit plans nationwide.

RxPreferred Benefits claims it is transforming healthcare through transparent, pass-through Pharmacy Benefit Administration. In collaboration with self-funded employers and health plans, RxPreferred develops custom solutions that drive savings and promote healthcare accessibility for members with innovative strategies, technology, and data access. Headquartered in Nashville, TN, RxPreferred is privately-held and operates nationally, also offering a variety of pharmacy solutions including 340b Administration and PBM Services for Hospice, Long-Term Care, and Workers’ Compensation.

Cost Plus Drugs and RxPreferred have announced a new partnership, focused on improving healthcare access and lowering drug spend. With this venture, employers and their members utilizing RxPreferred for their pharmacy benefit will have access to all medications available through Cost Plus Drugs within their benefits package, with future plans to expand this offering along with local independent pharmacies.

Our partnership with RxPreferred is another step in the direction of bringing transparency to healthcare and lowering drug costs for individuals and families across the country.,” said Mark Cuban. “We are excited to work with a like-minded company that aligns with our goals and puts improving access to affordable prescriptions first.”

Healthcare and prescription drug spend has continued to be a rising concern for both individuals and companies hosting their insurance benefits plan or plan sponsors. The pricing of drugs and schematics behind the industry are complex and traditionally been veiled from the end-consumer, leading to the need for transparency and control back in the hands of those ultimately paying for the drugs.

There is an education component for employers and employees needed to help people and their families access the appropriate medications at the best possible costs and live healthy lives.,” says Jeff Malone, CEO of RxPreferred. “In an otherwise opaque industry, we’re committed to bringing transparency to the prescription drug space, making this partnership with Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company vital to our continued efforts in improving healthcare.”

With this partnership, RxPreferred and Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company will bring together employer-sponsored benefits with the option to use Cost Plus Drugs as part of their plan, previously only offered to individuals outside of their insurance package. Cost Plus Drugs makes all drugs and pricing publicly available, giving everyone the opportunity to make informed decisions about their healthcare needs.

RxPreferred started their efforts in transforming healthcare in 2011 with transparent custom pharmacy solutions and now work with employers nationwide to administer their pharmacy benefits plan. This partnership is the next iteration of strategic innovation it provides its’ customers as part of an ever-evolving environment with the goals of sustainable prescription drug spend, improved member access, and transparency for employers and their members.