Content about Government

December 9, 2013

Pharmacy Quality Solutions on Monday announced that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures.

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Pharmacy Quality Solutions on Monday announced that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures. 

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

November 26, 2013

According to a Harris Poll released Tuesday, 70% of Americans believe it is likely that the government will shut down again in January, while just 21% believe it is unlikely to shut down.

NEW YORK — According to a Harris Poll released Tuesday, 70% of Americans believe it is likely that the government will shut down again in January, while just 21% believe it is unlikely to shut down. Republicans are more likely than both Democrats and Independents to say it is likely there will be a shutdown in January (79% versus 64% and 67%, respectively).

November 19, 2013

Shoppers are already looking past the holiday season and not liking what they see, according to a special survey conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 by IRI that was released Tuesday.

CHICAGO — Shoppers are already looking past the holiday season and not liking what they see, according to a special survey conducted between Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 by IRI that was released Tuesday. While consumers are hoping for the best, they're bracing for the worst when it comes to the possibility of another government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis in early 2014. 

November 15, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics. In this role, Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development.

Why is this so important? Well, he’s a physician having previously practiced with Brigham Internal Medicine Associates. He also served as assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and served as director, research and rapid-cycle evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And what’s especially interesting to note — as highlighted by CVS Caremark — is that Shrank is “experienced in pharmaceutical outcomes research.”

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics. In this role, Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development.

November 13, 2013

Theranos and Walgreens on Wednesday opened new Theranos Wellness Centers located at Walgreens stores in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

PHOENIX — Theranos and Walgreens on Wednesday opened new Theranos Wellness Centers located at Walgreens stores in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This marks the next step in Theranos and Walgreens planned national rollout of Theranos Wellness Centers, and the first expansion of the new laboratory services outside of California. 

November 12, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

In this role, Shrank will focus on the development of innovative pharmacy solutions to help improve the quality of care while lowering costs in order to help health care providers deliver services to distinct patient populations.

October 18, 2013

One of the casualties associated with the recent government shutdown and game of chicken that legislators played with the nation's debt ceiling is consumer confidence. And this will have significant ramifications coming into the fourth quarter holiday season, especially as the debate over government spending and the debt ceiling crisis has not been resolved but only delayed until January.

Holding the holiday season hostage means Washington has lost big points with big retail, and IRI measured the impact. Reminiscent of recession shopping behaviors, almost two-in-three consumers are cutting back on non-essential spending; half are again gravitating toward private label or other value propositions and two in five are beginning to scour online resources in search of coupons and deals.

One of the casualties associated with the recent government shutdown and game of chicken that legislators played with the nation's debt ceiling is consumer confidence. And this will have significant ramifications coming into the fourth quarter holiday season, especially as the debate over government spending and the debt ceiling crisis has not been resolved but only delayed until January. 

October 16, 2013

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will serve as a keynote speaker for the 2014 NACDS Annual Meeting scheduled from April 26 to 29 in Scottsdale, Ariz., the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will serve as a keynote speaker for the 2014 NACDS Annual Meeting scheduled from April 26 to 29 in Scottsdale, Ariz., the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced.

October 16, 2013

According to IRI's Q3 2013 MarketPulse survey results released Tuesday, 85% of American consumers were aware of the looming debt ceiling crisis and of the government shutdown, which is clearly impacting their views of their personal finances, including their approach to grocery shopping.

CHICAGO — According to IRI's Q3 2013 MarketPulse survey results released Tuesday, 85% of American consumers were aware of the looming debt ceiling crisis and of the government shutdown, which is clearly impacting their views of their personal finances, including their approach to grocery shopping. 

October 16, 2013

Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

LEBANON, N.H. — Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

October 15, 2013

An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

SAN ANTONIO — An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

October 14, 2013

More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by eHealth, found that 78% of respondents don't compare prices, but that the average beneficiary could have saved more than $600 this year on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs if he had. The study was based on an analysis of more than 450,000 unique visitor sessions during Medicare's 2013 Annual Enrollment Period.

October 14, 2013

With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday. 

October 7, 2013

Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in the Wall Street Journal.

NEW YORK — Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

October 1, 2013

SoloHealth and eHealth, parent company of eHealthInsurance, on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership to help expand consumer awareness and enrollment in individual, family and Medicare health insurance plans.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — SoloHealth and eHealth, parent company of eHealthInsurance, on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership to help expand consumer awareness and enrollment in individual, family and Medicare health insurance plans. 

The partnership makes eHealth’s plan selection and comparison tools available, in selected geographies, to many of the more than 130,000 people who use the SoloHealth Stations every day across America. SoloHealth Station users will be able to explore their health insurance options via eHealthInsurance.com.

October 1, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services will furlough more than half of its employees due to the government shutdown, the agency said.

NEW YORK — The Department of Health and Human Services will furlough more than half of its employees due to the government shutdown, the agency said.

In announcing a contingency staffing plan for the shutdown, which started Tuesday when Congress failed to pass a budget in time, HHS said 52% of its employees would be on furlough, totaling 40,512 members of its staff. The remaining 48%, or 37,686 employees, would remain. The scheduled introduction of the health insurance exchanges mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also continue.

October 1, 2013

Rite Aid will help elderly people and their caregivers prepare for the annual Medicare Part D enrollment starting in two weeks, the drug store chain said Tuesday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid will help elderly people and their caregivers prepare for the annual Medicare Part D enrollment starting in two weeks, the drug store chain said Tuesday.

Rite Aid said its stores around the country would offer Medicare Advisor to help Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers find the plan that suits them best starting on Oct. 15.

October 1, 2013

Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

INDIANAPOLIS — Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

Together, WellPoint said, members had access to more than 11,000 locations around the country. The preferred pharmacy network is part of all of WellPoint's affiliated Part D standalone prescription drug plans and most of its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans.

September 26, 2013

CVS Caremark’s board of directors has elected former White House adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle to serve on its board, the company stated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s board of directors has elected former White House adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle to serve on its board, the company stated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

DeParle will be an independent director and will serve on the board’s audit committee, according to the filing.

September 18, 2013

Walgreens announced that it will provide more than 160,000 eligible employees with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in 2014 through its proprietary “Live Well Benefits Store,” a marketplace that is an outsourced solution through Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday announced that it will provide more than 160,000 eligible employees with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in 2014 through its proprietary “Live Well Benefits Store,” a marketplace that is an outsourced solution through Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange. The Walgreens program provides more health coverage choices and an opportunity for most employees to lower their out-of-pocket healthcare costs next year.

September 17, 2013

Many seniors mistakenly think that health insurance exchanges will replace Medicare, according to a new survey, which attributes much of the confusion to "conflicting chatter" about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

ST. LOUIS — Many seniors mistakenly think that health insurance exchanges will replace Medicare, according to a new survey, which attributes much of the confusion to "conflicting chatter" about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The survey, conducted in August by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and titled 50 States of Confusion, comes as the OCT. 1, launch of the exchanges draws near. It included 1,101 seniors currently enrolled in a Medicare plan or who would be eligible for one within 12 months.

September 13, 2013

Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a weeklong education program for Medicare patients, the company said Friday.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a weeklong education program for Medicare patients, the company said Friday.

Starting Sunday, one month before Medicare's annual open-enrollment period, UnitedHealthcare's National Medicare Education Week is designed to help baby boomers, existing beneficiaries, their families and caregivers learn more about Medicare. The open-enrollment period lasts from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

September 9, 2013

Theranos and Walgreens on Monday announced a long-term partnership to bring access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide.

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Theranos and Walgreens on Monday announced a long-term partnership to bring access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide. As the service becomes available through Theranos Wellness Centers inside Walgreens stores, consumers will be able to access less invasive and more affordable clinician-directed lab testing. 

September 5, 2013

Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley will take part in an event with Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius to announce new resources to help customers prepare for Obamacare, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Rite Aid chairman and CEO John Standley will take part in an event with Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius to announce new resources to help customers prepare for Obamacare, according to published reports.