Content about Healthcare in the United States

March 26, 2012

The fourth annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill wrapped up March 22 on a high note. With pharmacists and pharmacy students from around the country able to secure more than 350 meetings with members of the U.S. House and Senate and their staffs last week, most lawmakers who serve on congressional committees with jurisdiction on healthcare issues got to hear pharmacy’s position on prescription reimbursements, fair payment for pharmacy services and the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit management giants Express Scripts and Medco.

The fourth annual National Association of Chain Drug Stores RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill wrapped up March 22 on a high note. With pharmacists and pharmacy students from around the country able to secure more than 350 meetings with members of the U.S.

February 29, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Tuesday expressed support for H.R. 4095, “The Online Pharmacy Safety Act,” which the organization said will help consumers protect themselves against the growing threat of illegitimate online drug sellers.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Tuesday expressed support for H.R. 4095, “The Online Pharmacy Safety Act,” which the organization said will help consumers protect themselves against the growing threat of illegitimate online drug sellers.

NACDS sent a letter in support of the bill to its sponsors, Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Mike Ross, D-Ark. 

The bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to create a public registry of law-abiding online pharmacy websites for consumer use.

February 29, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association last week sent a follow-up letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking the agency to revisit a decision last month that effectively requires some pharmacies to pay duplicative fee-for-service Medicare enrollment/revalidation fees, according to the association.

WASHINGTON — The National Community Pharmacists Association last week sent a follow-up letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking the agency to revisit a decision last month that effectively requires some pharmacies to pay duplicative fee-for-service Medicare enrollment/revalidation fees, according to the association.

February 28, 2012

Lowering health costs will require a greater understanding of differences between two distinct groups of patients, according to a new study, which also noted a growing availability of specialty drugs for complex and chronic conditions outside the hospital.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Lowering health costs will require a greater understanding of differences between two distinct groups of patients, according to a new study, which also noted a growing availability of specialty drugs for complex and chronic conditions outside the hospital.

February 17, 2012

The call to Congress to reject budget proposals that would increase co-pays for prescription medications at community pharmacies for Tricare patients is important as the war between the pharmacy and pharmacy benefit manager lobbies heats up.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The call to Congress to reject budget proposals that would increase co-pays for prescription medications at community pharmacies for Tricare patients is important as the war between the pharmacy and pharmacy benefit manager lobbies heats up.

February 16, 2012

Nebraska officials on Wednesday announced the state will switch health insurance carriers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to United Healthcare, effective July 1, according to reports.

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska officials on Wednesday announced the state will switch health insurance carriers from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to United Healthcare, effective July 1, according to reports.

February 15, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association are urging Congress to reject budget proposals that would limit pharmacy choice for Tricare beneficiaries.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association are urging Congress to reject budget proposals that would limit pharmacy choice for Tricare beneficiaries.

The call to action from the two groups follows the release of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget plans. A provision in the government's FY 2013 budget would increase co-pays for prescription medications at community pharmacies for Tricare patients, but lower co-pays for prescriptions filled via mail order.

February 10, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and California pharmacy groups have banded together to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to prevent the implementation of a state plan amendment — proposed by the California Department of Health Care Services — which they say would place significant limitations on access to pharmacy care and services for the state’s Medi-Cal patients.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and California pharmacy groups have banded together to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to prevent the implementation of a state plan amendment — proposed by the California Department of Health Care Services — which they say would place significant limitations on access to pharmacy care and services for the state’s Medi-Cal patients.

January 30, 2012

Two groups representing the retail pharmacy industry are urging the federal government to provide guidance to the states on how to adjust Medicaid dispensing fees to determine pharmacy reimbursement.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Two groups representing the retail pharmacy industry are urging the federal government to provide guidance to the states on how to adjust Medicaid dispensing fees to determine pharmacy reimbursement.

January 30, 2012

Several Congress leaders last week penned a letter to the Department of Defense's Director of Tricare Management Activity warning of potential cost increases should the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health clear regulatory hurdles.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several Congress leaders last week penned a letter to the Department of Defense's Director of Tricare Management Activity warning of potential cost increases should the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health clear regulatory hurdles.

January 27, 2012

A specialty pharmacy chain has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care.

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — A specialty pharmacy chain has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care.

BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy said ACHC accreditation indicates that the organizational management, internal processes, patient safety practices and service outcomes at BioPlus meet the highest standards.

January 3, 2012

CVS/pharmacy has launched a new service on its CVS.com website to assist military service members, veterans and their families who need to transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that lets them continue using their Tricare prescription insurance coverage.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy has launched a new service on its CVS.com website to assist military service members, veterans and their families who need to transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that lets them continue using their Tricare prescription insurance coverage.

December 21, 2011

According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, changes governing long-term care facilities that recently were proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could create turmoil for independent community pharmacies providing LTC services, the association stated in a release Wednesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — According to the National Community Pharmacists Association, changes governing long-term care facilities that recently were proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could create turmoil for independent community pharmacies providing LTC services, the association stated in a release Wednesday.

December 8, 2011

More than 250,000 U.S. military personnel, family members, retirees and others in the Department of Defense Tricare pharmacy benefits program, and their supporters, so far have signed petitions demanding access to Walgreens pharmacies under the Tricare pharmacy program, Walgreens reported Thursday.

WASHINGTON — More than 250,000 U.S. military personnel, family members, retirees and others in the Department of Defense Tricare pharmacy benefits program, and their supporters, so far have signed petitions demanding access to Walgreens pharmacies under the Tricare pharmacy program, Walgreens reported Thursday.

The pace of petition signatures from Tricare members seeking to retain access to Walgreens and their supporters has reached more than 10,000 per week in recent weeks, the pharmacy operator added.

November 28, 2011

The Obama administration confirmed last week that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Donald Berwick will step down from his post on Dec. 2.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration confirmed last week that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Donald Berwick will step down from his post on Dec. 2.

Berwick, who was nominated to the position by President Obama in April 2010, was supposed to lead the agency through the end of the year as part of his recess appointment.

Marilyn Tavenner, CMS principal deputy administrator, will succeed Berwick, according to a statement made by Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

November 28, 2011

The National Committee for Quality Assurance on Monday named Jeffrey Kang, Walgreens SVP pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions, to its board.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The National Committee for Quality Assurance on Monday named Jeffrey Kang, Walgreens SVP pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions, to its board.

NCQA is a private nonprofit organization that accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations. The group also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA's Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care, the committee stated.

November 22, 2011

The recent approval of a 10% reimbursement rate cut in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has prompted provider groups to file a lawsuit against the California Department of Healthcare Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that the cuts did not follow proper legal channels.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The recent approval of a 10% reimbursement rate cut in California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has prompted provider groups to file a lawsuit against the California Department of Healthcare Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, alleging that the cuts did not follow proper legal channels.

November 21, 2011

CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has entered into a clinical affiliation with Emory Healthcare, the largest hospital system in Georgia, to enhance access to healthcare services in communities throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has entered into a clinical affiliation with Emory Healthcare, the largest hospital system in Georgia, to enhance access to healthcare services in communities throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.

MinuteClinic has 31 clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in metro Atlanta.

November 18, 2011

NACDS and NCPA announced that they have sent joint letters to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, encouraging the rejection of an Obama administration proposal that would “saddle Tricare beneficiaries with higher prices and penalize their utilization of community pharmacists.”

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association announced that they have sent joint letters to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, encouraging the rejection of an Obama administration proposal that would “saddle Tricare beneficiaries with higher prices and penalize their utilization of community pharmacists.”

November 10, 2011

Employers and consumers alike are adopting health savings accounts as a viable way to manage their healthcare costs without compromising care, according to two national surveys released Thursday.

DALLAS — Employers and consumers alike are adopting health savings accounts as a viable way to manage their healthcare costs without compromising care, according to two national surveys released Thursday.

November 8, 2011

In response to a new second set of limits on generic drug pharmacy reimbursement that recently were proposed by federal Medicaid officials, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday reiterated its concerns with what the group characterized as the "flawed methodology" being used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine the payment caps.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In response to a new second set of limits on generic drug pharmacy reimbursement that recently were proposed by federal Medicaid officials, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday reiterated its concerns with what the group characterized as the "flawed methodology" being used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine the payment caps.

NCPA requested a meeting with CMS officials on the matter.
 

October 28, 2011

Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.

WASHINGTON — Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.

This year's Medicare Part B premium is a $15.50 decrease over the standard 2011 premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries and by Medicaid on behalf of low-income enrollees, HHS said. Additionally, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.

October 21, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted on Friday comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the draft federal upper limit list published by CMS.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted on Friday comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the draft federal upper limit list published by CMS.

October 19, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday offered federal Medicaid officials a number of suggestions to address methodology that, if left in place, would result in what the NCPA couched as "potentially devastating cuts" in Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement for a wide range of common, generic prescription drugs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday offered federal Medicaid officials a number of suggestions to address methodology that, if left in place, would result in what the NCPA couched as "potentially devastating cuts" in Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement for a wide range of common, generic prescription drugs.

October 18, 2011

In a letter to the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores provided recommendations related to diabetes testing supplies for Medicare patients.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a letter to the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores provided recommendations related to diabetes testing supplies for Medicare patients. NACDS said its recommendations would prevent the unintended consequences of hasty policy mistakes, and foster better and more cost-effective patient care.