Content about Healthcare reform in the United States

July 11, 2012

The House of Representatives' vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has drawn praise from the National Retail Federation.

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives' vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has drawn praise from the National Retail Federation.

July 5, 2012

As states grapple with tight budgets, rising Medicaid costs and the anticipated expansion of Medicaid following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policymakers should consider how community pharmacists can help reduce expenses. In addition, new evidence offers a fresh reminder of the perils of managed care in Medicaid and the need for proper oversight of managed care entities.

As states grapple with tight budgets, rising Medicaid costs and the anticipated expansion of Medicaid following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policymakers should consider how community pharmacists can help reduce expenses. In addition, new evidence offers a fresh reminder of the perils of managed care in Medicaid and the need for proper oversight of managed care entities.

July 1, 2012

The Supreme Court's decision last week to maintain the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act doesn't mean much. Not really.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The Supreme Court's decision last week to maintain the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act doesn't mean much. Not really. Because without regard of who's paying for what services, more people will need more health care in 2014 than people need health care today.

June 28, 2012

The Supreme Court on Thursday identified the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a tax, which means the constitutionality of the healthcare-reform package cannot be addressed until after that tax is assessed.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday morning identified the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a tax, which means the constitutionality of the healthcare-reform package cannot be addressed until after that tax is assessed.

The court did rule the health insurance mandate, a key part of the Affordable Care Act, as unconstitutional; however, the government will continue to be able to tax people for not having health insurance.

June 28, 2012

While the Supreme Court on Thursday morning left the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mostly intact, the court did rule that Congress cannot withhold federal Medicaid spending from a state that does not expand its eligibility requirements under the act.

WASHINGTON — While the Supreme Court on Thursday morning left the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mostly intact, the court did rule that Congress cannot withhold federal Medicaid spending from a state that does not expand its eligibility requirements under the act.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid was to be transformed into a program to meet the healthcare needs of the entire nonelderly population with income below 133% of the poverty level.

June 25, 2012

You want Rite Aid to win. A Rite Aid win represents a proof of concept — that concept being the creation of an effective market-driven loyalty program that incorporates savings on the healthcare services that actually works and in fact cross-pollinates pharmacy patients and front-end shoppers; that concept being that generic waves need not wash out all pharmacy sales volume if a pharmacy retailer can successfully grow ancillary healthcare services, such as immunizations or Rite Aid's new Rite Care Prescription Advisor; that concept being that there is in fact a return on investment from placing a knowledgeable team member armed with a tablet of health information physically in the aisles to proactively engage patients.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — You want Rite Aid to win.

June 18, 2012

Americans still are forgoing or delaying health care on account of the economy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which recently released its May Health Tracking Poll.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Americans still are forgoing or delaying health care on account of the economy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, which recently released its May Health Tracking Poll.

One in four Americans reported they have had problems paying medical bills in the past year, and as many as 60% said they have cut corners to avoid healthcare costs.

June 13, 2012

The National Rural Health Association on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., strongly supporting the bill she introduced in March — H.R. 4215, the Medicare Pharmacy Transparency and Fair Auditing Act.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Rural Health Association on Wednesday sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., strongly supporting the bill she introduced in March — H.R. 4215, the Medicare Pharmacy Transparency and Fair Auditing Act. The bill helps safeguard patient access to independent community pharmacists and addresses abusive pharmacy auditing practices, while allowing legitimate Medicare Part D anti-fraud oversight to continue.

June 11, 2012

If it's good for the goose, then it's good for the gander. That's what was in a recent letter from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to the National Association of Community Pharmacists.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — If it's good for the goose, then it's good for the gander. That's what was in a recent letter from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to the National Association of Community Pharmacists. In place of mandatory mail order and competitive bidding in covering diabetic test strips, Ohio Medicaid is opting to employ a manufacturer rebate model, where manufacturers exchange discounted pricing for a listing on Ohio's preferred drug list. Sound familiar?

June 6, 2012

Ohio's Medicaid program has decided not to establish a competitive bidding and mandatory mail-order program for diabetes testing supplies.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ohio's Medicaid program has decided not to establish a competitive bidding and mandatory mail-order program for diabetes testing supplies.

June 1, 2012

The majority of consumers who would be eligible for new healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based healthcare exchanges — where they will have to shop for coverage beginning in 2014 — while more than half said they believe they will need help in understanding healthcare insurance terms and descriptions, and navigating the healthcare system, according to new research from CVS Caremark.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The majority of consumers who would be eligible for new healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based healthcare exchanges — where they will have to shop for coverage beginning in 2014 — while more than half said they believe they will need help in understanding healthcare insurance terms and descriptions, and navigating the healthcare system, according to new research from CVS Caremark.

June 1, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday identified three problematic regulations that inhibit job creation.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday identified three problematic regulations that inhibit job creation.

The Medicare Part B diabetes testing supplies competitive bidding program threatens patient access to these medical necessities, the association noted, and the 340B Drug Discount program also represents a challenge to community pharmacy due to its loose eligibility criteria. Lastly, job creation can be inhibited by the fee-for-service Medicare enrollment/revalidation fees that many pharmacies have to pay twice.

June 1, 2012

So research indicates that the majority of consumers who would be eligible for new healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based healthcare exchanges, and many believe they will need help in understanding healthcare insurance terms and descriptions. Really? Of course! That's because it's confusing!

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — So research indicates that the majority of consumers who would be eligible for new healthcare coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have never heard of the state-based healthcare exchanges, and many believe they will need help in understanding healthcare insurance terms and descriptions. Really?

Of course! That's because it's confusing!

May 23, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday drafted a letter to the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services regarding the latest federal upper limit guidelines that the association characterizes as "getting worse with regard to the negative economic impact [to community pharmacies], not better."

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday drafted a letter to the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services regarding the latest federal upper limit guidelines that the association characterizes as "getting worse with regard to the negative economic impact [to community pharmacies], not better."

May 23, 2012

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed last year under health reform, Medicare now offers preventive wellness visits to seniors enrolled in Medicare Part B and select Medicare Advantage plans. For eligible seniors, these wellness visits can prove to be an important step in preventive care; however, the rates of utilization are surprisingly low. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this represents an ideal opportunity for convenient care clinics.

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed last year under health reform, Medicare now offers preventive wellness visits to seniors enrolled in Medicare Part B and select Medicare Advantage plans. For eligible seniors, these wellness visits can prove to be an important step in preventive care; however, the rates of utilization are surprisingly low. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this represents an ideal opportunity for convenient care clinics.

May 16, 2012

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this month released a memo to all Part D sponsors, warning them that the agency has "observed an increase in beneficiary complaints related to the transfer of prescriptions from retail pharmacies to either mail-order or specialty pharmacy without their explicit consent."

BALTIMORE — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this month released a memo to all Part D sponsors, warning them that the agency has "observed an increase in beneficiary complaints related to the transfer of prescriptions from retail pharmacies to either mail-order or specialty pharmacy without their explicit consent."

May 16, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has emphasized the commitment of NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry to partner with policy-makers and others to improve quality and lower costs in the healthcare delivery system in a statement sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

ALEXANDRIA, Va.  — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has emphasized the commitment of NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry to partner with policy-makers and others to improve quality and lower costs in the healthcare delivery system in a statement sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, NACDS announced on Tuesday.

May 16, 2012

I am the 99%. And thank God for that. But it’s not what you think. This isn’t about radical politics and class warfare. I’m not looking to tax the 1%. I just want them to take better care of themselves. And I’m definitely not the only one. More and more, payers, insurers and big government are all looking at ways to get this group to live a little healthier. 


I am the 99%. And thank God for that. But it’s not what you think. This isn’t about radical politics and class warfare. I’m not looking to tax the 1%. I just want them to take better care of themselves. And I’m definitely not the only one. More and more, payers, insurers and big government are all looking at ways to get this group to live a little healthier. 


May 14, 2012

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to beef up its oversight on Medicare Part D submissions from retail pharmacy, according to an Office of Inspector General report published last week.

WASHINGTON — The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to beef up its oversight on Medicare Part D submissions from retail pharmacy, according to an Office of Inspector General report published last week.

The OIG suggested CMS strengthen a MEDIC's ability to track pharmacy billing (MEDICs — Medicare Drug Integrity Contractors — are private organizations who are contracted by CMS to assist in anti-fraud and abuse efforts) and improve compliance plan audits, specifically targeting independent pharmacies and pharmacies in urban locales.

May 9, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Wednesday that it has submitted comments to the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health urging that retail pharmacies remain exempt from the Medicare durable medical equipment competitive bidding program.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Wednesday that it has submitted comments to the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health urging that retail pharmacies remain exempt from the Medicare durable medical equipment competitive bidding program. The subcommittee held a hearing regarding the program on Wednesday.

May 7, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association today expressed concerns in a letter sent to Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee leaders over the potential impact of the administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget on Tricare beneficiaries and community pharmacy.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association today expressed concerns in a letter sent to Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee leaders over the potential impact of the administration’s fiscal year 2013 budget on Tricare beneficiaries and community pharmacy.

May 2, 2012

CVS Caremark announced on Wednesday that it is supporting Million Hearts during National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May through a number of patient-focused initiatives.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Wednesday that it is supporting Million Hearts during National High Blood Pressure Education Month in May through a number of patient-focused initiatives.

Launched by the Department of Health and Human Services and led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the United States over the next five years.

April 17, 2012

Medicare Part D beneficiaries with cardiovascular conditions who had no financial assistance during the "doughnut hole" coverage gap were 57% more likely to discontinue their cardiovascular medications than those beneficiaries who had consistent drug coverage, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Medicare Part D beneficiaries with cardiovascular conditions who had no financial assistance during the "doughnut hole" coverage gap were 57% more likely to discontinue their cardiovascular medications than those beneficiaries who had consistent drug coverage, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.

April 13, 2012

The news that Take Care Clinics now are offering wellness services for Medicare enrollees clearly demonstrates that there’s an opportunity for retail clinics to fill gaps in care, and promote wellness and better patient outcomes.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The news that Take Care Clinics now are offering wellness services for Medicare enrollees clearly demonstrates that there’s an opportunity for retail clinics to fill gaps in care, and promote wellness and better patient outcomes.

(THE NEWS: Take Care Clinics offering Medicare wellness visits. For the full story, click here.)

April 12, 2012

Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, now is providing wellness services for Medicare enrollees at all Take Care Clinic locations throughout the country, the retail health clinic operator announced on Thursday.

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, now is providing wellness services for Medicare enrollees at all Take Care Clinic locations throughout the country, the retail health clinic operator announced on Thursday.

The Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visits and Medicare Yearly Wellness Visits are wellness services for Medicare enrollees, which include screenings for a number of common conditions, as well as education and counseling to encourage wellness and prevent disease.