Content about Federal assistance in the United States

August 12, 2013

Is your organization prepared to navigate the new healthcare landscape? That was the question posed by health policy experts in a NACDS TSE Insight Session Sunday.

Is your organization prepared to navigate the new healthcare landscape? That was the question posed by health policy experts in a NACDS TSE Insight Session Sunday.

Although employers have been granted a deadline extension on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide health coverage options for their employees, most provisions of the ACA are scheduled to go into effect next year. With those provisions will come an expansion of Medicaid as tens of millions of Americans become eligible for health coverage through health insurance exchanges.

August 6, 2013

A new report from UnitedHealthcare released Monday discusses engagement strategies and incentives used by its employees that contributed to improved workforce health and $107 million in healthcare cost-savings in the first 36 months, illustrating how employers can play a valuable role in spurring employees to take action to improve their health.

WASHINGTON — A new report from UnitedHealthcare released Monday discusses engagement strategies and incentives used by its employees that contributed to improved workforce health and $107 million in healthcare cost-savings in the first 36 months, illustrating how employers can play a valuable role in spurring employees to take action to improve their health.

August 1, 2013

Cardinal Health is significantly bullish heading into fiscal 2014. And for good reason. Not only does the graying of the baby boomers continue to represent a strong tailwind, but there are five other factors that will help fill those sails as well, George Barrett, Cardinal chairman and CEO, told investors Thursday morning.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health is significantly bullish heading into fiscal 2014. And for good reason. Not only does the graying of the baby boomers continue to represent a strong tailwind, but there are five other factors that will help fill those sails as well, George Barrett, Cardinal chairman and CEO, told investors Thursday morning. 

July 29, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association endorsed the Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (H.R. 2845), legislation recently introduced by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., that would allow independent community pharmacies to provide same-day delivery services of diabetes testing supplies to Medicare beneficiaries who are homebound, in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday endorsed the Diabetic Testing Supply Access Act (H.R. 2845), legislation recently introduced by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., that would allow independent community pharmacies to provide same-day delivery services of diabetes testing supplies to Medicare beneficiaries who are homebound, in long-term care or assisted living facilities. 

July 10, 2013

McKesson ideaShare 2013 concluded with a bang, as healthcare and policy experts discussed the implementation of healthcare reform and the impact it will have on community pharmacy during a special Public Policy Forum session held on June 29, the final day of the conference.

LAS VEGAS — McKesson ideaShare 2013 concluded with a bang, as healthcare and policy experts discussed the implementation of healthcare reform and the impact it will have on community pharmacy during a special Public Policy Forum session held on June 29, the final day of the conference.

June 20, 2013

A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives would delay competitive bidding under Medicare for medical equipment until some issues are resolved.

NEW YORK — A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives would delay competitive bidding under Medicare for medical equipment until some issues are resolved.

June 13, 2013

Most of the growth in jobs in the healthcare sector comes from home health care, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

WASHINGTON — Most of the growth in jobs in the healthcare sector comes from home health care, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

June 7, 2013

Healthcare automation services company QS/1 has a deal with the maker of an iPad app for Medicare patients to help users search for and compare health plans.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Healthcare automation services company QS/1 has a deal with the maker of an iPad app for Medicare patients to help users search for and compare health plans.

QS/1 announced the partnership with iMedicare to help pharmacies serve the country's growing number of Medicare patients.

"Using government resources, comparing plans can take up to 40 minutes," iMedicare CEO Flaviu Simihaian said. "When integrated with QS/1's Pharmacy Management System, iMedicare can do that comparison in a matter of seconds."

June 7, 2013

Beginning July 1, Walgreens will serve as a Medicare Contract Supplier by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries requiring enteral nutrition (i.e., tube feeding) in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the pharmacy operator recently announced.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beginning July 1, Walgreens will serve as a Medicare Contract Supplier by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries requiring enteral nutrition (i.e., tube feeding) in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the pharmacy operator recently announced. 

May 31, 2013

The Pharmacy Quality Alliance has given one of its top awards to pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp., the PBM said Friday.

LISLE, Ill. — The Pharmacy Quality Alliance has given one of its top awards to pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp., the PBM said Friday.

Catamaran announced that it received a 2013 PQA Quality Award recognizing its five-star rating on all PQA measures in the Part D Star Ratings program. The PQA's stated goal is to improve patient health by championing clear performance measures for medication management, and the recognition program for prescription drug plans recognizes Medicare plans that have demonstrated outstanding performance in medication-related quality.

May 28, 2013

A federal court has declined to review an earlier decision to uphold cuts to California's Medicaid program, drawing criticism from several groups.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal court has declined to review an earlier decision to uphold cuts to California's Medicaid program, drawing criticism from several groups.

May 28, 2013

Why does the federal government want to block independent pharmacies from providing much-needed diabetes testing supplies to older homebound patients?

In a clear case of over-zealous federal policy-making and glacial government response time, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it will do just that beginning in July. That’s when CMS has decreed it will no longer allow small community pharmacies to deliver diabetic test kits to homebound and long-term-care patients on Medicare.

Why does the federal government want to block independent pharmacies from providing much-needed diabetes testing supplies to older homebound patients?

In a clear case of over zealous federal policy-making and glacial government response time, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will do just that beginning in July. That’s when CMS has decreed it will no longer allow small community pharmacies to deliver diabetic test kits to homebound and long-term care patients on Medicare.

May 23, 2013

More than half of all healthcare providers who are eligible have received Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for electronic health records, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

WASHINGTON — More than half of all healthcare providers who are eligible have received Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for electronic health records, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the department had exceeded its goal for 50% of doctor offices and 80% of hospitals to have EHRs by the end of the year. By contrast, the percentage of physicians using EHRs in 2008 was 17%. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contained incentive programs for adoption of EHRs that went into effect in 2011.

May 22, 2013

Several members of Congress are requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reverse a decision to prohibit independent pharmacies from delivering diabetes-testing supplies to homebound seniors.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several members of Congress are requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reverse a decision to prohibit independent pharmacies from delivering diabetes-testing supplies to homebound seniors.

May 21, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that, in written statements submitted for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings this week, it noted the essential role of community pharmacy in the success of the 10-year-old Medicare Part D prescription drug program and urged program enhancements focused on the quality and affordability of care.



ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that, in written statements submitted for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings this week, it noted the essential role of community pharmacy in the success of the 10-year-old Medicare Part D prescription drug program and urged program enhancements focused on the quality and affordability of care.



May 20, 2013

A recent survey commissioned on behalf of a pharmacy benefit manager trade group found a high degree of satisfaction among Medicare Part D beneficiaries with preferred pharmacy plans.

WASHINGTON — A recent survey commissioned on behalf of a pharmacy benefit manager trade group found a high degree of satisfaction among Medicare Part D beneficiaries with preferred pharmacy plans.

May 16, 2013

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm a former Virginia Health and Human Services secretary as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm a former Virginia Health and Human Services secretary as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Members of the Senate voted 91-7 in favor of confirming Marilyn Tavenner to lead CMS, drawing praise from a retail pharmacy trade group.

May 14, 2013

Medicare Part D plans that create tiered networks of pharmacies for beneficiaries need more oversight amid reports that small and medium-sized pharmacies are being excluded from them, several senators wrote in a letter last week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Medicare Part D plans that create tiered networks of pharmacies for beneficiaries need more oversight amid reports that small and medium-sized pharmacies are being excluded from them, several senators wrote in a letter last week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

May 9, 2013

Cuts to Medicare payments due to the budget sequester have hit reimbursements for cancer drugs, according to a nonprofit group.

WASHINGTON — Cuts to Medicare payments due to the budget sequester have hit reimbursements for cancer drugs, according to a nonprofit group.

April 21, 2013

“We are writing history, and you are historic figures.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for community pharmacy during Sunday morning’s business session at NACDS Annual Meeting as the association celebrates its 80th anniversary.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — “We are writing history, and you are historic figures.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for community pharmacy during Sunday morning’s business session at NACDS Annual Meeting as the association celebrates its 80th anniversary. Prior to Anderson taking the stage, Greg Wasson, out-going chairman of the NACDS board and president and CEO of Walgreens, made his state of the industry remarks.

April 16, 2013

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering health care costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering healthcare costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

April 12, 2013

A proposal to further reduce Medicaid drug reimbursement that was included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget plan is “premature” and federal Medicaid officials should focus on modifying and completing already proposed regulations to set future federal upper limits for reimbursement of most generic drugs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association said.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A proposal to further reduce Medicaid drug reimbursement that was included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget plan is “premature” and federal Medicaid officials should focus on modifying and completing already proposed regulations to set future federal upper limits for reimbursement of most generic drugs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association argued on Friday.

April 11, 2013

QS/1 has released Medicare Part B compliance documentation, which it said would be the first of its type on the market to help pharmacies that want to serve Part B customers while remaining compliant, the company said.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — QS/1 has released Medicare Part B compliance documentation, which it said would be the first of its type on the market to help pharmacies that want to serve Part B customers while remaining compliant, the company said.

QS/1 said its Medicare Part B Compliance Documentation software system was the first of its kind, allowing pharmacies using NRx or PrimeCare Pharmacy Management Systems to serve Medicare Part B customer needs while keeping necessary documents in the event of an audit.

April 9, 2013

A MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C., got a visit from one of the state's top health officials recently.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C., got a visit from one of the state's top health officials recently.

April 9, 2013

A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.