Content about Government

August 29, 2013

A member of Congress is raising concerns about "preferred pharmacy" Medicare drug plans, according to an Alexandria, Va.-based trade group that represents independent pharmacies.

WASHINGTON — A member of Congress is raising concerns about "preferred pharmacy" Medicare drug plans, according to an Alexandria, Va.-based trade group that represents independent pharmacies.

August 16, 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 navigator grant applicants in federally facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 navigator grant applicants in federally facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

August 14, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

In a statement NACDS sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, the Association is urging “commonsense” approaches to Medicare reform and emphasizing community pharmacy’s role in improving heath and controlling costs.

August 2, 2013

The Senate was expected to take up a bill designed to secure the drug supply chain and establish a list of "do not compound" medications, but left for recess Friday without voting on it.

NEW YORK — The Senate was expected to take up a bill designed to secure the drug supply chain and establish a list of "do not compound" medications, but left for recess Friday without voting on it.

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 23, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration is inviting comments from the public as it looks into restricting or even banning menthol in cigarettes, the agency said Tuesday.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration is inviting comments from the public as it looks into restricting or even banning menthol in cigarettes, the agency said Tuesday.

The FDA said it had issued an advance notice of proposed rule making, or ANPRM, to obtain information related to potential regulations it might consider. The agency said about 30% of adult smokers and more than 40% of youth smokers report smoking menthol cigarettes.

June 24, 2013

A White House trade policy leader has been appointed as U.S. Trade Representative.

WASHINGTON — A White House trade policy leader has been appointed as U.S. trade representative.

The Senate voted last week to approve Michael Froman to the position. Froman was previously an adviser to President Barack Obama on international economic affairs and replaces acting U.S. Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro.

June 24, 2013

Schake will represent L'Oréal USA for all corporate communications and will lead the external communications strategy in the areas of public and media relations, industry and government relations, sustainability and crisis communications.

NEW YORK — L'Oréal USA president and CEO Frederic Roze announced on Monday that Kristina Schake will be joining L'Oréal USA as chief communications officer, effective July 8.  

Schake will represent L'Oréal USA for all corporate communications and will lead the external communications strategy in the areas of public and media relations, industry and government relations, sustainability and crisis communications. In addition, Schake will oversee the company's corporate philanthropic programs.

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 17, 2013

Patent settlements between brand and generic drug makers commonly referred to as "pay-for-delay" settlements are not necessarily against the law, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

NEW YORK — Patent settlements between brand and generic drug makers commonly referred to as "pay-for-delay" settlements are not necessarily against the law, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

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 11, 2013

The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study comparing generic utilization of common diabetes medications across two government programs — Medicare Part D and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PHILADELPHIA — The Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday published a study comparing generic utilization of common diabetes medications across two government programs — Medicare Part D and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Medicare's use of brand-name medicines was two to three times greater than the VA.

According to the study, the disparity comes out of Medicare's reliance on private plans with distinct formularies, whereas the VA administers its own benefit using a national formulary.

June 10, 2013

Beginning July 1, Walgreens will be able to provide tube feeding services to Medicare patients in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the healthcare solutions provider announced last week. The contracts are up for renewal every three years.

This is just another example of how Walgreens is transforming its pharmacy business into a center for healthcare solutions — this goes far beyond dispensing and ultimately aims squarely at reducing hospitalization costs, another way that Walgreens is helping payers bend the cost curve. It begs the question: Should traditional suppliers be thinking about the role their products can play as Walgreens develops new business segments like infusion services?

Beginning July 1, Walgreens will be able to provide tube feeding services to Medicare patients in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the healthcare solutions provider announced last week. The contracts are up for renewal every three years. 

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

In April 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, began enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA. Now, a decade later, we can look at how the rule is being applied.

In April 2003, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, Office for Civil Rights, or OCR, began enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA. Now, a decade later, we can look at how the rule is being applied.

Facts and figures

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 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 20, 2013

CVS/pharmacy is reminding patients with diabetes that one of the most important ways they can manage their disease is to perform regular testing of their blood-sugar levels.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is reminding patients with diabetes that one of the most important ways they can manage their disease is to perform regular testing of their blood-sugar levels.

While the number of providers that will accept Medicare coverage for diabetes testing supplies is expected to decline after July 1, 2013 because of Medicare changes, CVS/pharmacy is informing those treating diabetes it will continue to accept Medicare Part B coverage for test strips and other diabetes testing supplies.

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.