Content about Healthcare reform in the United States

December 15, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association issued a statement on Thursday announcing that they commend Reps. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa; Mike Rogers, R-Mich.; and 38 of their colleagues who expressed concerns with draft Federal Upper Limits lists that recently have been published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association issued a statement on Thursday announcing that they commend Reps. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa; Mike Rogers, R-Mich.; and 38 of their colleagues who expressed concerns with draft Federal Upper Limits lists that recently have been published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

December 13, 2011

The unemployed and underemployed have limited access to health care and, in many cases, are putting off seeking medical care, according to the "Long-Term Unemployed Survey" released on Monday by NPR News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The unemployed and underemployed have limited access to health care and, in many cases, are putting off seeking medical care, according to the "Long-Term Unemployed Survey" released on Monday by NPR News and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

When they are sick or need medical advice, the long‐term unemployed and underemployed are much more likely than those with full‐time jobs to say they rely on a hospital emergency room or that they have no usual place to go for care (39% compared with 15% of full‐time employees).

December 9, 2011

Attendance at the fifth annual Payer/Managed Care Symposium "far exceeded" that of previous years, the event's sponsor said.

SHARON HILL, Pa. — Attendance at the fifth annual Payer/Managed Care Symposium "far exceeded" that of previous years, the event's sponsor said.

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 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 22, 2011

A UnitedHealth Group company announced its plans to acquire a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans in an all-cash transaction.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — A UnitedHealth Group company announced its plans to acquire a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans in an all-cash transaction.

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 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.
 

November 4, 2011

A bill proposed in Congress would give states incentives for using generic drugs through the Medicaid program.

WASHINGTON — A bill proposed in Congress would give states incentives for using generic drugs through the Medicaid program.

October 31, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association jointly spoke out Friday against cuts to California's Medicaid program Medi-Cal, which will be retroactive to June 1.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association jointly spoke out Friday against cuts to California's Medicaid program Medi-Cal, which will be retroactive to June 1.

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 27, 2011

If employers want to best manage the health and productivity of their employees, they need to continue company-sponsored health plans — that was a key message that Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, had for attendees at the National Business Group on Health's annual meeting on Thursday.

BOSTON — If employers want to best manage the health and productivity of their employees, they need to continue company-sponsored health plans — that was a key message that Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, had for attendees at the National Business Group on Health's annual meeting on Thursday.

October 25, 2011

Medicare Part D beneficiaries will be able to obtain hundreds of generic drugs without any deductible or co-pay under a new program offered by Rite Aid.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Medicare Part D beneficiaries will be able to obtain hundreds of generic drugs without any deductible or co-pay under a new program offered by Rite Aid.

The retail pharmacy chain announced Tuesday that it had partnered with Envision Insurance Co. to offer a value-focused prescription drug plan for Medicare Part D Open Enrollment 2012. Rite Aid EnvisionRx Plus offers beneficiaries a plan with a $0 deductible and $0 co-pays, including during the coverage gap, also known as the donut hole.

October 24, 2011

Walgreens is continuing to provide resources to Medicare Part D beneficiaries in order to help them better understand their healthcare options.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is continuing to provide resources to Medicare Part D beneficiaries in order to help them better understand their healthcare options.

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

It is critical for the Food and Drug Administration and Office of Generic Drugs to be fully funded, so that patients can receive access to affordable medicines, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — It is critical for the Food and Drug Administration and Office of Generic Drugs to be fully funded so that patients can receive access to affordable medicines, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association said Wednesday.

The group called on the Senate to uphold the funds allocated to the FDA by the Senate Committee on Appropriations. GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said that cutting funds would affect the sustainability of the U.S. healthcare system, including such programs as Medicare and Medicaid.

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.

October 18, 2011

To date, Walgreens and Express Scripts in the past month have navigated three one-off deals that will keep Walgreens' more than 7,800 pharmacies in the ESI pharmacy network, but the U.S. Department of Defense's Tricare does not look likely to become one-off deal No. 4, according to published reports.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — To date, Walgreens and Express Scripts in the past month have navigated three one-off deals that will keep Walgreens' more than 7,800 pharmacies in the ESI pharmacy network, but the U.S. Department of Defense's Tricare does not look likely to become one-off deal No. 4, according to published reports.

October 17, 2011

With the congressional “super-committee” inching closer to making budget decisions to reduce the deficit, the National Community Pharmacists Association announced on Monday that it has developed two new advertisements reinforcing how local pharmacists can reduce federal healthcare costs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With the congressional “super-committee” inching closer to making budget decisions to reduce the deficit, the National Community Pharmacists Association announced on Monday that it has developed two new advertisements reinforcing how local pharmacists can reduce federal healthcare costs.

October 17, 2011

In an effort to continue serving the U.S. Department of Defense's Tricare pharmacy program in 2012, Walgreens has offered a new proposal to Express Scripts.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In an effort to continue serving the U.S. Department of Defense's Tricare pharmacy program in 2012, Walgreens has offered a new proposal to Express Scripts.

In what it calls "an ironclad guarantee," Walgreens said that the drug store chain's prices would match or beat the average costs per adjusted prescription of all other pharmacies in the Tricare network. Walgreens added that it will produce savings for the program "without disrupting beneficiaries’ choice of a network pharmacy provider."

October 14, 2011

As annual open enrollment season begins for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS pharmacists are available to answer questions and provide guidance on how to complete plan comparisons, CVS/pharmacy announced on Friday.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As annual open enrollment season begins for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS pharmacists are available to answer questions and provide guidance on how to complete plan comparisons, CVS/pharmacy announced on Friday.

From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to review their current prescription coverage and enroll in a new plan, if they so choose.

October 14, 2011

Rite Aid said its pharmacists will be ready to help patients and caregivers choose the prescription drug plan that works best for them as 2012 Medicare Part D open enrollment begins Saturday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid said its pharmacists will be ready to help patients and caregivers choose the prescription drug plan that works best for them as 2012 Medicare Part D open enrollment begins Saturday.

Open enrollment is beginning a month earlier than in previous years so that Medicare administrators can process plan choices before the new year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

October 7, 2011

A growing number of people with Medicare are using free preventive services provided by the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said.

WASHINGTON — A growing number of people with Medicare are using free preventive services provided by the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said.