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16 Mar 2018

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March 16, 2018 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Mesfin Tegenu, M.S., R.Ph. President


When Mesfin Tegenu helped launch PerformRx in 1999, his goal was to create a company that would help meet the needs of those in need of pharmaceutical services. A recent accreditation would indicate that he’s done it.


By Denise Clay

Right now, we’re talking a lot about health care and how to make sure that everyone gets the care that they need efficiently.

When he finished his undergraduate work in his native Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the dream of becoming a pharmacist, Mesfin Tegenu came to New York’s St. John’s University for graduate work, eventually working with a health insurance company.

It was there where he learned how important a pharmaceutical plan was to your overall healthcare.

“At the health plan I worked at in New York, medical services and pharmacy services were all integrated under one roof,” Tegenu said. “I observed how important it was to have good pharmacy benefits and decided to focus on that space and enter into that business.”

Toward that end, he took a position at Keystone Mercy Health Plan (now AmeriHealth Caritas) in 1999 and created the Pharmacy Benefit Management company that became PerformRx. The company’s mission is to help doctors, patients and customers get the most out of their medication therapy in pursuit of better health.

When it was founded in 1999, PerformRx worked with Medicaid plans. It has since expanded to include Medicare Part D, commercial insurance plans and employer groups.

At a time when changes to the Affordable Care Act have made health care plans change in ways that customers might not understand, having a service like PerformRx that makes sure that you’re getting the medications that are best for you is important, Tegenu said.

And because of that, the organization has worked really hard toward that end, something that helped them meet an industry standard. The National Committee for Quality Assurance recently gave PerformRx its Utilization Management Accreditation.

Getting this recognition was a high water mark for the company, Tegenu said.

“We were very happy to get that award,” he said. “The National Committee for Quality Assurance primarily cares about how health plans do their work when you have a prescription. How well do they do that? Can that patient get that prescription without too much of a hassle? We invited them to come in and see our process and protocols and the outcome was that they felt we met their standards. It’s our mission to provide the best care we can for our members and give them care of the highest quality. This validates that.”

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